F-35Bs complete weapons load tests aboard USS America

first_img View post tag: F-35B For many of the sailors assigned to weapons department, it was the first time in their career they were given the opportunity to handle ordnance.“For us, this is how we make a difference on board the ship,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Hung Lee, a quality assurance safety observer. “Being able to do this feels like we are supporting the overall scope of what the ship is trying to achieve. Without ordnance, to us, this ship isn’t a warship. This is what we do.”Lee explained working with ordnance of any type, live or inert, presents a danger. Even the lightest type of ordnance the team assembled, the GBU-12, weighs 500 lbs.“At any point in time when there is any carelessness during a build, anyone can get hurt or lose their life,” he said. “For instance, bombs have been known to fall on people as the ship takes rolls. That is why we need quality assurance and safety personnel at all times during a build.”The team normally builds eight bombs at a time in a method similar to an assembly line.“The first thing we do is break out all of the equipment, starting with the bomb body, which contains the warhead,” he said. “We then attach the fins which help stabilize the aircraft, and attach the computer control group which guides the bomb. After the assembly is complete, we inspect the unit and all of the components.” Share this article November 21, 2016 A weapons loaded F-35B prepares for takeoff from USS America. Photo: US NavyThe F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter jets that are currently carrying out the third developmental test phase (DT-III) aboard amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) reached a new milestone as the program completed weapons load testing on November 16.A group of the next-generation aircraft from Patuxent River Integrated Test Force tested flying qualities at various aircraft weights, in particular in regard to crosswinds, sink rates, and high sea states. Additionally, the DT-III weapons team evaluated ordnance separation tests and live-fire tests.USS America’s weapons department assembled two types of smart bombs for the testing. The team assembled 72 laser-guided Guide Bomb Units (GBU) 12 and 40 satellite-guided GBU-32s for the first time in the ship’s short history.Laser-guided bomb (LGB) kits consist of a computer control group and air foil group normally attached to a general-purpose bomb to form an LGB. The dual mode, laser-guided kit enhances existing LGB kits by adding GPS/inertial navigation system capabilities.Six GBU-12s were dropped on a live-weapons range in Yuma, Arizona during a two-day live-weapons drill.“We’re here to augment the existing weight center of gravity effects of the aircraft to expand the fleet envelope wind over deck, and different lateral symmetry and asymmetry configurations,” said Gabriella Spehn, a F-35 weapons engineer from the Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF).The DT-III weapons team conducted the load tests on land prior to embarking on America. The team tested all of the takeoff and landing worst-case scenarios and endpoints.“The only way to increase the endpoints is to test on board a ship for sink rates and high sea states, which is the next phase of testing after land-based testing is complete,” Spehn said. “There is no way to recreate the conditions that come with being out to sea.”Although the tests are conducted to assess the limits of the aircraft, Spehn explained all tests are evaluated and conducted safely.“We don’t just keep testing until something goes catastrophically wrong,” she said. “Each engineering discipline has to look back at the data we’ve collected after the most recent flight and completion of each test point, and then figure out if we feel comfortable proceeding to the next point.”The F-35B DT-III pilots purposely conducted test flights under various unfavorable environmental conditions to test the aircraft’s limitations and capabilities.“As we all know, we can’t choose the battle and the location of the battle, so sometimes we have to go into rough seas with heavy swells, heave, roll, pitch, and crosswinds,” said Royal air force (RAF) Squadron Leader Andy Edgell, an F-35 test pilot embedded at the Pax River ITF.“The last couple of days we went and purposely found those nasty conditions and put the jets through those places, and the jet handled fantastically well. So now the external weapons testing should be able to give the fleet a clearance to carry weapons with the rough seas and rough conditions. We know the jet can handle it. A fleet clearance will come — then they can go forth and conduct battle in whatever environment,” Edgell added. View post tag: USS America Back to overview,Home naval-today F-35Bs complete weapons load tests aboard USS America Authorities View post tag: US Navy F-35Bs complete weapons load tests aboard USS America View post tag: Royal Navylast_img read more

Intermediate School Hosts Drive-Through Celebration

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEA traditional graduation for Ocean City Intermediate School eighth-graders was not possible this year due to COVID-19.But that did not deter Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor, OCIS Principal Michael Mattina and a host of other administrators and faculty to cheer on the graduates and celebrate their milestone on Monday.The school district held a processional at the intermediate school to recognize the honorees who joined in a drive-through ceremony. School staff held up Class of 2020 signs, blew bubbles and tossed out candy to the sounds of music, while carloads of families with balloons fixed to their vehicles honked their horns and waved as they entered the school parking lot.School guidance counselor Angelo DiBartolo in the foreground and Principal Michael Mattina cheer on students.Dr. Taylor, Mattina and faculty lined the outside of the school and called out “Great job,” “You did it,” and “Congratulations.”Monday was an important day for not just the students, but also for the teachers, Dr. Taylor and Mattina noted.“We are happy to have this to get to cheer the students on. We get to see them and they get to see us,” Dr. Taylor said. “It is really about showing the kids love and support.”The processional was just the first part of the festivities on Monday. At 6 p.m. a live virtual graduation airing on the district’s website and on its Facebook page was another event for families to watch. They could also download it to save for years to come, Mattina said.Kelsea Bowman and her family ride by as Dr. Kathleen Taylor claps for her and fellow graduates.“Obviously, this is a different time, but we wanted to do something important for the kids and the teachers. We want our kids back to school, but this is a way we can still see them and celebrate their achievement,” Mattina said.The idea was weeks in the making.“We have been in meetings on Zoom trying to come up with an idea of what we could do for the kids. When we got this idea of a processional, the teachers really stepped up and took it to the next level,” Mattina said. “The city and the police department were fantastic. They worked with us to make this happen.”Students and family, including Skylar Cohen’s mom, PTA President Jocelyn Palaganas, beam during the processional.The district has had to navigate through a series of changes in Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders arising from the pandemic. On March 16, schools throughout the state were closed. By the following day, virtual learning began in Ocean City.Dr. Taylor said in this unprecedented time, the students have taught the adults some things.“Kids taught us a lot in that they are resilient,” she said. “They have persevered. The ease in which they have handled the transition has been outstanding.”As the processional unfolded, teachers and staff enthusiastically cheered during the pep-rally style event.OCIS Guidance Counselor Angelo DiBartolo laughed as graduates drove up.“This is great,” he said, as he shouted out congratulatory remarks to the students.Stepfanie Grisinger, the OCIS student assistance coordinator who heads up the school’s Wellness Center, waved a sign honoring the 2020 graduates.“The district definitely came together and made this an exciting time for the students,” Grisinger pointed out. “This is a way we can show the students, while social distancing, how much we care.”The live virtual graduation included five student speakers, a featured guest speaker and an eighth grade student who sang the National Anthem. To view the graduation visit the district’s Facebook page or go to the Ocean City School District website at https://www.oceancityschools.org/.School social worker Stepfanie Grisinger proudly displays the sign to honor the graduates.Some families adorned their vehicles with balloons and banners.Car after car drove up for the ceremony.A large banner is easily viewed from Bay Avenue. Ocean City Intermediate School faculty members cheer on eighth graders in a processional to celebrate their graduation.last_img read more