Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Washington – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) combat systems department began a combat systems light off, June 13, a key milestone in the ship’s yard schedule.

Approximately 95 percent of John C. Stennis’ combat systems, including navigation radar, aircraft approach and landing systems, and weapons systems were shut down in preparation for the ship’s planned incremental availability (PIA) earlier in the year.

“The light off is [one of] the linchpins in ensuring that we have the ability to get underway,” said Lt. Cmdr. Terrell Burnett, John C. Stennis’ combat systems maintenance officer, from Cleveland. “Without the systems that [we] provide, we would not be able to get the ship underway effectively.”

Bringing the systems back online is no easy task.

“Shutting off the systems is always easy but bringing it up has inherent problems,” said Burnett. “We work through those problems to make sure that we support our customers.”

Burnett likened the light off process to conducting an orchestra, bringing different groups of systems online while coordinating with Sailors and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility personnel who are still doing maintenance work around the ship.

Alteration and installation teams from Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Air Systems Command, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command worked on and upgraded John C. Stennis’ combat systems equipment while the systems were off.

Some of the upgrades included the next generation aviation data management and control system, and new shipboard telephone systems that will allow every digital phone on the ship to have voicemail.

While the light off is one of John C. Stennis’ milestones for completing PIA, it’s just the beginning for the combat systems department.

The next step is performing between 15,000 and 20,000 hours of preventative maintenance, preparing for the combat systems, command, control, communications and computer readiness assessment (C5RA), and sea trials, said Burnett.

John C. Stennis is conducting a PIA at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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