USS Truman completes training hurdle

By Ali Rockett

Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Tribune News Service) — Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman successfully completed two training hurdles in the Atlantic this week, ahead of schedule, as the ship prepares for its deployment in the fall.

The exercises were the first combined training events of a ship’s inter-deployment training cycle. Tailored ship’s training availability, or TSTA, evaluates shipboard drills in the areas of general quarters, damage control, medical, navigation, intelligence, and combat systems, according to a statement from the carrier. On average, this training takes about 25 days, said Cmdr. R. L. Norvell, of Afloat Training Group, the carrier training liaison officer.

“They did it in 21, ” Norvell said in the statement. “From the beginning, they functioned well as a whole and only improved as time went on.”

The carrier also completed the final evaluation problem, or FEP, achieving an overall score of 96 percent, it reported in a statement.

Truman is now a step closer to being a battle-ready carrier. The ship’s next big event, composite training unit exercise or COMPTUEX, brings ships in a battle group together to train and become a cohesive, fighting unit, the statement said.

Truman Strike Group aviator earns career milestone

Capt. Keith “Grumpy” Kimberly, Carrier Strike Group 8 chief of staff, completed his 1,000th arrested landing on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, which is training in the Atlantic this week.

Kimberly, flying an F/A-18F Super Hornet, is only the 371st aviator to accomplish this feat, according to a statement from the carrier.

“To get to that number, an aviator has probably done around seven deployments – at a minimum six,” Rear Adm. Brett “Pops” Batchelder, strike group commander, said. “That’s many years’ worth of commitment and I would tell you that to stick around that long and achieve that milestone shows a real aptitude for the profession. Folks that aren’t good at it don’t stick around long enough to have the opportunity. It’s a fairly rare thing.”

Less than one-fifth of a percent of naval aviators make it to 1,000 arrested-landings, according to Batchelder.

Kimberly has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and Meritorious Service Medal in his 24 years as a naval aviator.

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