Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class Ben Shaw watches an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Dambusters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 launch from the flight deck aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during the Carrier Air Wing 5 flyoff, Nov. 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Seaman Brian H. Abel)

PHILIPPINE SEA - The forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington's embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, conducted their fly off to return to Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan, Nov. 17.

"The 2012 patrol for the air wing went extremely well," said Command Master Chief Jason Eckard, CVW 5's command master chief. "The ship's company and air wing integration came together with one focus, one team and one mission."

Teamwork and cooperation are important elements that help Sailors safe and efficient to support the George Washington's mission.

"In my 22 years of service and my fifth aircraft carrier, I haven't seen a team work this smooth and effectively," said Eckard. "The departments treated us well. They were also supportive, responsive and reliable."

Sailors aboard George Washington work together to enhance readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The patrol was a huge success," said Lt. James Fischer, a pilot from the "Chargers" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 14, from Spokane, Wash. "I did a lot of flying, dropped a practiced torpedo, practiced hellfire shots and worked along with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force."

As efficient and smooth the patrol was for CVW 5, they are still progressing to meet higher standards.

"I would like to see more cohesion with other departments to create one big unit on one large ship," said Eckard. "Engineering departments don't often see much of the flight deck, and the air wing also doesn't get to see much of engineering on the ship. So I would like to see more opportunities for departments to see an overall picture of what other departments do and how they contribute to the mission."

Getting to know other departments on George Washington help Sailors study for the enlisted surface warfare specialist and enlisted air warfare specialist pins.

"An increase in interdepartmental cooperation may ultimately help Sailors acquire their enlisted surface warfare specialist or enlisted air warfare specialist pins," said Eckard. "I think it is important to have these warfare pins and would like to see more of it aboard George Washington."

CVW 5 consists of HS 14, the "Diamondbacks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, the "Royal Maces" of VFA 27, the "Eagles" of VFA 115, "The Dambusters" of VFA 195, the "Shadowhawks" of Electronic Attack Squadron 141, the "Liberty Bells" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 115, and the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30.