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GW Reaches Overhaul Milestone as Last Propeller Reinstalled

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050727-15
Release Date: 7/27/2005 7:00:00 PM

By Journalist Seaman Latisha Gholston, USS George Washington Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS George Washington (CVN 73) (GW) reached a major milestone during its Docked Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) July 25 as Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN) shipyard workers reinstalled the last of the ship's four propellers.

This event marked the last significant work to be completed before flooding the dry dock and floating GW once again.

“We are currently a bit ahead of schedule, and we will continue to track and complete all scheduled maintenance needed to bring the ship back up to the highest level of operational readiness,” said Capt. Garry R. White, GW’s commanding officer.

This was one of more than 10,000 jobs required during GW’s overhaul. The job began in January as soon as the ship was placed in the dry dock. NGNN shipyard workers removed the ship’s shafting and propellers, and sent the propellers to a sub-contractor in Chesapeake, Va., for rework.

The sub-contractors inspected the propellers for wear, dings and scrapes. Once the maintenance was complete, the propellers were returned to the shipyard and reinstalled.

“The entire crew did an excellent job removing the propellers in a timely manner of five weeks,” said Mark Creamer, NGNN construction project supervisor.

Each propeller is 21 feet in diameter and weighs 66,200 pounds. All four propellers create nearly 2 million pounds of thrust, which is equivalent to approximately 50 F-14 Tomcats in full afterburner.

“Teamwork and the dedication of long hours done by everyone is what has made this DPIA so successful,” said Creamer.

Because of the significance of the event, local and Navy media were invited to the dry dock. In addition to viewing the hull of the ship and interviewing the shipyard workers about their installation, reporters interviewed GW sea warriors about the variety of non-traditional duties they are performing, such as cable pulling, painting, lagging and providing transportation.

“We’ve removed more than 103,000 feet of cable from the ship that weighs more than 13 tons. This has a large impact on the draft and the weight of the ship,” said Fire Control Technician 3rd Class Broward Maryan from combat systems department.

Sailors have painted several hundred spaces throughout the ship to maintain the highest level of preservation. GW crew painted the entire external skin of the ship above the waterline, saving the Navy more than $11 million, and shipyard workers cleaned and painted below the waterline.

“We get a proud feeling knowing that this is our ship that we’re painting and helping to get back out to the fleet,” said deck department's Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Anthony Impeartrice.

Other projects include enhancements to crew living areas, modernization of spaces to support aircraft equipment, and repair and refurbishment of the hull, sea chests, shafting, propellers and rudders.

“Helping with the general maintenance and refurbishing of the ship makes me feel proud to be apart of the GW team,” said Seaman Sania Mendez, from deck department.

GW entered the yards in January and plans to remain in Newport News through the end of the year. The ship is scheduled to come out of dry dock in September and move to another pier on NNGN to complete other scheduled maintenance.

“Everyone is doing an outstanding job, and I’m sure we are all looking forward to getting back out to the fleet,” White said.

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