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    DOT&E reviews Gerald R. Ford preparations for Full Ship Shock Trials

    Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) Visit

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Angel Jaskuloski | Dr. Raymond O'Toole Jr., acting director, operational test and evaluation, center,...... read more read more



    Story by Lt.Cmdr. Desiree Frame 

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)           

    On May 19, Dr. Raymond O’Toole, Jr., acting director, operational test and evaluation (DOT&E) conducted a thorough visual assessment of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) to ensure that the first-in-class aircraft carrier is ready to conduct Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST) this summer.

    The U.S. Navy conducts shock trials of new ship designs using live explosives to assess the ability of shipboard equipment and systems to operate satisfactorily under the most demanding combat conditions. Although Ford was designed using advanced computer modeling methods, shock trials verify the accuracy of those computer models, identify potential deficiencies, and provide valuable, hands-on training to the crew in controlling potential battle damage on board the ship.

    Preparation for Ford’s FSST period has been under way for years, with more than 99.5% of all shipboard components reviewed and readied for the event.

    In assessing the ship’s progress, Dr. O’Toole and his team of experts toured multiple spaces and conducted in-depth discussions with ship’s force and members of the Ford-Class Program Office (PMS 378) in the Program Executive Office, Aircraft Carriers. Follow-on readiness reviews will confirm the ship’s readiness to move to the explosive phases of the trial.

    “I am truly impressed with Ford’s officers and crew after a great tour of this warship,” said O’Toole. “The Ford team obviously takes a lot of pride in the ship’s appearance and upkeep, and I am confident that we are on track to accomplish this historic test event.”

    While some of the ship’s systems and equipment may require repairs during and after the shock trials, the Navy does not expect to see effects that would jeopardize the safety of the crew or affect future operations.

    To prepare the crew for this event, Ford’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, accelerated training schedules, while maintaining safety as his top priority.

    “All precautions are being taken to protect the crew’s safety,” said Capt. Lanzilotta. “We are ready for the shock evolutions, but we have a lot more training to do. We’re going to validate and continue to refine our processes, practice, and prepare.”

    The ship already commenced training simulations mirroring a shock trial, but to ensure the ship is able to respond to any incident post shock, the crew will increase the frequency of its damage control trainings from weekly to daily evolutions in the coming weeks; running through the FSST sequence of events more than ten times prior to the first shock.

    “Preparation and managing expectations for these events is paramount,” said Rear Adm. James Downey, program executive officer for aircraft carriers. “The Navy has conducted multiple shock trials over the years, but we can never over prepare or over communicate—so we are taking all appropriate measures and precautions.”

    Gerald R. Ford’s FSST marks the first time the Navy has conducted underwater shock testing on an aircraft carrier since USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in 1987.

    CVN 78 represents the first major design investment in aircraft carriers since the 1960s. The ship is engineered to support new technologies and a modern air wing essential to deterring and defeating near-peer adversaries in a complex maritime environment.

    Ford is currently in port at Naval Station Norfolk, making final preparations for FSST.

    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: 05.26.2021
    Date Posted: 05.26.2021 10:12
    Story ID: 397437

    Web Views: 1,620
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