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Vinson's RCOH Team Clearing the Air

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061222-05
Release Date: 12/22/2006 10:15:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Chris Fahey, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson’s (CVN 70) Ventilation Team marked completion of more than 50 percent of their work Dec. 9 as the refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) continues for the carrier at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard.

To date, the team has installed 428 vent motors; 27 of which were completely overhauled. According to the Ventilation Team’s Leading Petty Officer, Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Robert Marsh, the ventilation team completed arduous and dirty work of cleaning and repairing more than 1,000 ventilation systems throughout the ship.

“What we do is vital,” said Marsh. “Without ventilation, the ship wouldn’t be cooled or heated; spaces where air conditioning is required to cool operational equipment wouldn’t stand a chance at succeeding when we get underway if ventilation wasn’t functioning.”

Supplying a breeze to circulate air to essential equipment and spaces throughout the ship ensures quality of life for machinery, and for Vinson Sailors.

“The accumulation of dirt in re-circulated air increases the risk of upper respiratory infections,” said Vinson’s Physician’s Assistant Lt. Alvin McCuiston. “Asthmatics would certainly feel added stress if ventilation systems were not working properly.”

To maximize work efforts, Vinson's ventilation team tracks its work through the Ship’s Force Information Management System (SFIMS), a database which allows members of the vent team and employees from Northrop Grumman Newport News to organize and schedule tasks while eliminating complicated and time-consuming mistakes and ensuring every ventilation system on the ship is in proper working condition.

“This job can be motivating when you consider how much work we will have accomplished when we are finished and how important that is to the ship,” said Marsh. “The job we have can also be pretty strenuous too. That’s when we look to each other for support, because you have to stay motivated. [Cleaning ventilation systems] is dirty, sometimes time consuming, and it’s no fun spending your whole day behind a bulkhead. But we do it together, and when we are finished, the job will have been done right.”

USS Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.

During RCOH Carl Vinson’s nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship’s services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.

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