Email this Article Email   

CHIPS Articles: OS: On the Radar

OS: On the Radar
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Krista DaCosta, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Public Affairs - July 14, 2017
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Somewhere on the O-3 level of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) lays a secure space that only a select few have access to. Monitors, radars and other state-of-the-art systems illuminate the faces of these Ike Sailors as they vigilantly and cautiously scrutinize every screen.

This group of men and women who operate these advanced pieces of equipment is known as Ike's operations specialists (OS). More than 30 OSs work in unison with other departments on Ike to monitor potential threats and maximize the overall security of the ship.

"Our division's number one mission is to defend the ship," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Bridgette Poteat, an operations intelligence leading petty officer. "Our job is very extensive and includes operating radars, locating aircraft and surrounding vessels, and identifying if they are friendly or hostile."

Most departments are self-contained when it comes to tasks, but when it comes to OSs, it's a completely different story.

"We disseminate pertinent tactical combat information to the command," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Marcus Price, an air intercept controller. "When we go underway, we're a part of every evolution that the Ike goes through from start to finish. Whether it is navigation on the bridge, controlling inbound helicopters, man overboards or collecting information, we are interlinked with almost every department aboard. I like to think of us as a chain link to other departments. If any of those links break we have an extremely hard time carrying out Ike's mission."

Teamwork is a staple of every department and operations specialists embody this characteristic with a variety of shipboard operations.

"If we locate a ship from 40 miles out, we then contact deck department to gather information about the type of boat, country of origin and size of crew," said Poteat. "From there, we send the information to the bridge."

Operations department works around the clock to maintain the safety of the ship. OSs stand multiple watches per day where they monitor combat systems, look out for potential collisions, assist with air traffic control, and disseminate this information to other departments on the ship.

"We stand one to two watches per day that have no room for error," said Poteat. "Even though you don't usually see us, we are always working. There's at least ten OSs on watch at all times. The ship would not be able to defend itself without OSs aboard."

Ultimately, OSs are essential in helping maintain the ship's safety, and their unique skillset only adds to the diversity of Sailors across the deckplates.

"We are the jack of all trades. We technically do eight different rates and don't have one specific thing we do," said Price. "Our flexibility and diversity of skills makes us [integral] to Ike's shipboard activities."

Ike is in port during the maintenance phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP).

For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy.

For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.

ARABIAN GULF (Oct. 24, 2016) Petty Officer 1st Class William Hipp, from Fort Mill, S.C., tracks surface contacts in the tactical operations plot of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike). Hipp serves aboard Ike as an operations specialist, operating the ship's radar, navigation and communication equipment. Ike and its Carrier Strike Group are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Joshua Murray)
ARABIAN GULF (Oct. 24, 2016) Petty Officer 1st Class William Hipp, from Fort Mill, S.C., tracks surface contacts in the tactical operations plot of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike). Hipp serves aboard Ike as an operations specialist, operating the ship's radar, navigation and communication equipment. Ike and its Carrier Strike Group are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Joshua Murray)
Related CHIPS Articles
Related DON CIO News
Related DON CIO Policy

CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

Online ISSN 2154-1779; Print ISSN 1047-9988
Hyperlink Disclaimer