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Enterprise Gets Back in the Fight

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Sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) departed Naval Station Norfolk Dec. 5 for the first phase of preparations for the ship's 22nd and final deployment.

During the underway, Enterprise will conduct flight deck certification, a requirement every aircraft carrier must achieve prior to deploying with fixed-wing aircraft. The certification proves that the crew of the ship is capable of safely launching and recovering aircraft and is prepared to prevent or combat flight deck mishaps.

"The crew is eager to get back into the fight," said Capt. William C. Hamilton, Jr., commanding officer of Enterprise.

While the air department is primarily responsible for the operations of the flight deck, safely launching and recovering aircraft is an all-hands effort. Every Sailor from the engine rooms to combat to the galleys to the bridge play an important role in successful flight operations.

"Every part of flight deck operations requires members of the crew and the air wing to be successful," said Hamilton.

The flight deck is one of the most dangerous places in the world to work, said Master Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate Eric J. Young.

"So many things can go wrong on the flight deck and one misstep can bring catastrophic results," said Young. "That is why we train and conduct qualifications to ensure that we are successful and nobody gets hurt when conducting combat operations."

Article by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jesse L. Gonzalez, USS Enterprise Public Affairs