Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CV 70), home ported in Coronado’s Naval Air Station North Island, departed on Monday to complete aviation qualifications, according to a military statement.
The Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) qualifications will allow aviation fighter squadrons on board the Carl Vinson to qualify new pilots and practice launching and recovering aircraft, said Carl Vinson’s air operations officer, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Joshua Hammond, in a statement.
The aircraft carrier is host to the Strike Fighter Squadron 122 “Flying Eagles,” from naval air station Lemoore, and the Electronic Attack Squadron 129 “Vikings,” from naval air station Whidbey Island, according to a statement.
The “Black Knights,” or Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4, and the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 “Providers” will also be operating during the qualification process.
The squadrons compose Carl Vinson’s carrier air wing, which is a group of squadrons attached to a specific carrier.
“We can’t always be underway with Carrier Air 2, so these operations help us stay sharp and hone our craft while helping new pilots gain proficiency,” said Hammond.
Some of the pilots on board have never flown a fleet aircraft, are renewing their qualifications to fly in a fleet squadron or are transitioning to fly other aircrafts, said Hammond.
“While these pilots will be sent to squadrons across the fleet, some of them could very well be assigned to Carl Vinson’s air wing when we depart for next deployment,” Hammond said.
The aircraft operations are being conducted off the coast of southern California, according to a statement.