Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adelola Tinubu // Staff Writer
An operation is defined as an organized and concerted activity involving a number of people. Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group’s Operations Department assists in coordinating the efforts of Sailors within each department and squadron to unify efforts toward Truman’s mission to fight and win at sea.
The duties of Sailors within the department include but are not limited to, creating and dispersing schedules and air plans, identifying surface and air traffic, coordinating the launch and recovery of aircraft, and monitoring the ship’s self defense system.
Truman’s Operations Department consists of five divisions; Operations Administration, Combat Direction Center, Meteorology and Oceanography, STRIKE, and Carrier Air Traffic Control. Together these groups work as a united force to carry out the mission of the ship.
Admin handles the paperwork for everything done in Operations. Combat Direction Center coordinates Truman’s combat efforts throughout various missions, Meteorology and Oceanography determines the weather to inform plans at sea and in the air. STRIKE develops air plans, and CATCC controls the direction of aircraft immediately following departure.
Air Traffic Controller 1st Class Amadeo Chavez, the leading petty officer of CATCC, has 18 years of experience as the familiar voice directing pilots returning from an assignment. According to Chavez, CATCC’s main duty is to provide customer service to the pilots.
“When a pilot comes back from an 8 hour departure it’s very reassuring for them to hear a Sailor’s voice on the frequency,” said Chavez. “They know it’s one step closer to getting home. In addition to this, we’re able to assist in case of any emergency.”
Chief Air Traffic Controller Narciso Penate stressed the importance of Operations Sailors remaining in communication with pilots while they are airborne.
“Our job becomes really important at night and during bad weather,” said Penate. “During times of poor visibility we are the pilot’s eyes. Our job is crucial because we have the pilot’s lives in our hands.”
The departments Administration division is mission essential as well.
Yeoman 1st Class Jennifer Thompson has worked in Operations Department for one year. Her duties include processing paperwork, qualifications and evaluations that are directly related to Truman’s general operations. As a yeoman, Thompson provides support to Sailors involved in aircraft launch and recovery, combat direction and weather analysis.
“I enjoy being a part of Operations because it makes me feel like I’m directly contributing to the ship’s mission,” said Thompson. “Being a yeoman here allows you to gain knowledge about what those Sailors do and how they contribute to Truman. It gives you a frontline view of everything, from when they launch aircraft, to when you hear the alerts over the 1MC.”
In addition to taking care of the ship, Operations department assists Sailors by coordinating the logistics with Supply Department to move mail, personnel, and supplies. All of this is done through the air transfer office.
“Receiving mail and fresh fruits and vegetables boosts morale onboard and supports keeping the ship in good working order,” said Truman’s Operations officer. “[Our department] also reassures Sailors onboard that they are safe from air, surface and subsurface threats.”
Teamwork and cooperation from the entire ship may be the glue that holds everything together, directly contributing to the overall success of Operations department.
“We perform our function as part of this Truman team by driving the efforts of all other departments,” said Truman’s Operations officer. “The other departments are able to maximize their potential because they can rely on Operations to plan future evolutions and to execute the task given to them. Every Sailor in Operations stands out because of their pride, professionalism and their role in ensuring the success of Truman.”