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    The Bridge Team Keeps Ike On Course

    The bridge shakes as an aircraft is launched from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower’s (CVN 69) flight deck, but the air is quiet. The silence is only interrupted by the occasional order and repeat-back as various watch-standers navigate and track Ike’s course.
    As Ike undergoes Carrier Qualifications (CQ), its bridge team mans the watches to navigate the ship while new aviators make their first carrier landings.
    These Sailors man different watch stations in order to keep the ship on a safe and timely course, as well as maintain nautical chart, man the helm and other various lookouts.
    “Everything runs on a schedule and has a deadline,” said Chief Quartermaster Luis Torres, navigation department’s leading chief petty officer. “Whenever there is an evolution such as a [replenishment at sea] or we pull into port, we have to make sure we get to that place safe and on time.”
    It is the officer of the deck’s (OOD) responsibility to take charge of the bridge to avoid two things: collision and grounding. OOD's also carry out orders from the commanding officer (CO).
    “Our job is to act as the CO’s direct representative by running the bridge,” said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Wendt, Ike’s meteorologist and one of the bridge team’s officers of the deck. “Requests such as doing an elevator run and discarding debris over the side has be run through the OOD.”
    Seaman Akilah Carradine, a Sailor in Ike’s deck department, said she arrived on onboard in 2018. During Ike's extended maintenance period, Carridine was temporarily assigned duty to another ship to become qualified in various watches, so she would ready to stand them aboard Ike.
    “I love working on the bridge,” said Carridine. “It gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of different people and experience new things.”
    Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Maquenzie Schultz, a boatswain’s mate of the watch on the bridge, is responsible for ensuring Sailors are standing their watch properly.
    “My favorited part of my job is making sure that new seamen understand what their purpose is for standing bridge watch,” said Schultz. “Boatswain’s mates of the watch have to make sure that our Sailors feel comfortable with driving the bridge and giving ordered commands.”
    Carridine said at first, she felt nervous working on the bridge because she was new and afraid of making a mistake. However, the more she stood watch with senior watch-standers the more comfortable she became with standing watches and interacting with officers on the bridge.
    No single Sailor could handle all the responsibilities attached to working the bridge on their own. Every job requires Sailors to support one another while keeping Ike safe at sea.
    “The OOD cannot do everything on their own. They require top-notch helmsmen and lee helm watch standers who really know how to steer the ship and control the ship’s engines," said Wendt. "The guys in [Tactical Operational Plot] are critical because there is a lot of data from their systems that they have to keep track and they push the important information to the OOD and the bridge team to avoid a
    “Everyone on the bridge team has a critical job,” he said.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.04.2019
    Date Posted: 05.05.2019 08:36
    Story ID: 320770
    Location: ATLANTIC OCEAN

    Web Views: 32
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