USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, at sea (May 6, 2014) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) completed its first weapons onload in more than five years, taking on more than 1,600 tons of ordnance.
“We’ve had very extensive training with all of Weapons Department from G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-4 (divisions) up to this point to ensure that we are 100 percent ready for this weapons onload,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Christopher Duff, with Weapons Department. “A lot of our training revolved around maneuvering magazines and other canisters on a forklift, and also some elevator training.”
It took two days for TR to receive the munitions from the dry cargo/ammunitions ship USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13).
“For something of this caliber, we have to make sure that we are all getting enough rest,” said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Jasmine Davis, who participated in her first weapons onload. “Without enough rest something like this can be a lot more dangerous than it already is.”
Communication from every tier of each department and division was essential to the successful and safe completion of the operation, said Duff.
“It’s really key that we have everyone talking to each other, whether it is to warn others of an approaching hazard or the elevator operators communicating with personnel that deliver our ammo to the magazines,” said Duff. “We have to have that communication so we know what to send down and when to send it down.”
All of the divisions within the Weapons Department coordinated to successfully complete the weapons onload – from the Quality Assurance Petty Officer who supervises the loading of the magazine; the Team Leader who directs the show, and team members who physically handle the loads of ordnance.
“If you take away the weapons, then this is just a big floating airport,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Justin Hilton.
Click here to view and download high-resolution photos of the weapons onload.