USS Gerald R. Ford’s combat systems declared operational

US Navy’s lead Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) has completed the combat
systems operational readiness exercise (CSORE).

The training took place from 5 until 14 July, “marking a crucial turning point in the ship’s deployment readiness”.

CSORE is an exercise meant to check the functionality of combat systems and test the crew’s ability to handle threats to the ship.

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Tyler Westbrook, the lead petty officer for the combat systems
CS-7 division, reported that the crew used the close-in weapons system (CIWS) and MK-38 25 millimeter guns to engage simulated drone combatants on the surface and in the air.

“The primary job of the MK-38 guns in all this was to disable and sink the ‘hostile’ surface vessels coming toward the ship,” said Westbrook.

“CIWS had a similar purpose in the event. The equipment and operators were tested in their ability to locate, track, and engage inbound surface and air contacts.”

Before the event could begin, the crew worked worked on the equipment. Numerous hours were spent performing pre-fire checks on the mounts. After the mounting and equipment checks, the crew then had to load the CIWS weapons. 

“CSORE is one of the most rewarding events I have ever participated in,” Westbrook added.

“It shows that we are able to defend Ford and her Sailors from whatever may be sent her way.”

In March this year, the aircraft carrier completed sea trials off the coast of Virginia. Now, the vessel is gearing up for its first deployment which, according to the navy officials, will take place by fall.

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Photo: US Navy