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    Gerald R. Ford Completes Phase 2A Combat Systems Ship’s Qualification Trials


    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Gary Prill | Fire Controlman 3rd Class Daniel Thomas, from New York city, assigned to USS Gerald R....... read more read more



    Story by Lt.Cmdr. Desiree Frame 

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)     

    Gerald R. Ford Completes Phase 2A Combat Systems Ship’s Qualification Trials

    ATLANTIC OCEAN – Sailors aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) completed the third phase of Combat Systems Ship’s Qualification Trials (CSSQT) March 12, after nearly three weeks of scheduled in-port combat systems maintenance and training and one week of at sea exercises.

    Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) requires any ship that is either new construction or has undergone a major combat systems upgrade to execute CSSQT. The trials consist of five phases—1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2C—that build upon one another to ultimately ensure the systems are groomed to their highest state of readiness and can be operated and maintained individually and collectively in a safe and effective manner.

    “This is a great opportunity to build confidence in our self-defense systems in robust scenarios using real targets that are not commonly at our disposal,” said Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s commanding officer. “Our Sailors on the ship will be able to go through all the real-world pre-planned responses and system actions that they would use in several different simulated battle scenarios. It is great hands-on, eyes-on training for the entire team, while having at our disposal the engineering experts who help design, build, and test the systems on board.”

    During phase 1A, the NAVSEA test team verified that the crew was properly maintaining the various combat systems. Following that, NAVSEA conducted training during phase 1B to increase combat direction center (CDC) watch-stander proficiency with combat systems and defensive procedures to ensure the crew could operate effectively during this current phase, 2A.

    According to Larry Daugherty, Ford’s CSSQT project officer, the first three phases went great.

    “We’re green across the board for being able to complete CSSQT,” said Daugherty. “It’s not always that easy.” He added that during phase 1B, the in-port training phase, Ford Sailors performed well above expectations due to the unique post-delivery test and trials (PDT&T) schedule executed over the past year.

    “We’ve been conducting multiple detect-to-engage scenarios with live aircraft. The CDC watch team is already pretty good— so now I have to challenge them a little bit, and get a little more creative,” Daugherty said.

    During CSSQT 2A, the ship’s crew conducted multiple exercises to demonstrate their proficiency in operating defensive systems during radar tracking exercises, simulated Close-in Weapons System (CIWS) engagements against High-Speed Maneuvering Surface Targets, dual tactical air detect-to-engage operations with Hawker Hunter aircraft, and live CIWS surface engagements against towed pontoons.

    Ford’s Fire Control Officer, Chief Warrant Officer Todd Williamson, said he believes his team performed superbly.

    “The combined team of Ford’s Fire Controlmen and their NAVSEA in-service engineering activity counterparts absolutely hit a home run in this evolution,” said Williamson. “We used physical targets to gather real time sensor and weapon system performance data, and provided an initial ‘proof of concept’ of the combat system for the class as a whole. Our sights are now set on firing live missiles at live targets in the coming months, and I have zero doubt that we will execute that mission with similar precision.”

    During phase 2B, the NAVSEA analysis team will examine the data collected during phase 2A to validate systems as ready to support missile live-fires during phase 2C, scheduled to take place during Ford’s final independent steaming event (ISE) this spring.

    “Any developmental program has built-in milestones, where the team has the opportunity to make improvements to procedures, technical manuals, supply postures, training, and future design enhancements,” said Lanzilotta. “The crew has been working on all of these aspects of the ship's maturation process. These sailors are instrumental in the incremental gains along the path from builder's trials to deployment, and I could not be more proud of their willingness to work with diligence and an open mind toward making the Ford-class even better for the Navy.”

    USS Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier, and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years. The ship is in underway for ISE 17 as part of her PDT&T phase of operations.

    For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford, visit or find us on social media. Twitter: @Warship_78; Facebook: @USSGeraldRFord; Instagram @cvn78_grford



    Date Taken: 03.15.2021
    Date Posted: 03.15.2021 15:19
    Story ID: 391433
    Location: VA, US

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