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George Washington Fuels Up for Move

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070420-08
Release Date: 4/20/2007 1:03:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (AW/SW) Najah Stanford, USS George Washington Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- USS George Washington (CVN 73) (GW) took another step closer to completing the Planned Incremental Availability plus Docking with the onload of 39,000 gallons of jet propulsion fuel (JP-5) on April 14.

This onload was the first of many in preparation for the ship’s upcoming requirements. This onload was primarily to support the ship’s emergency diesel generators (EDG). When the ship moves from dry dock to wet slips later this month the EDG will be the primary source of power.

There was a lot of planning that went into this evolution. The ship did not want to run the risk of spilling fuel over the side or inside the ship due to improper planning, explained CWO3 Rodney Chisholm, Air Department’s Fuels boatswain.

“We have to know which tanks the fuel is going to and how much fuel to pump in the tank,” said Chisholm. “Not spilling fuel is always a goal when we bring on fuel.”

In an operational environment, Air Department’s V4 division uses an automated system to determine how much fuel is in the tanks; however, due to shipboard construction, the Sailors of V4 used manual sounding tests. Other Sailors of V4 division worked below decks to open and close the valves to the tanks which hold the fuel.

Before the onload got underway, the fuels boatswain conducted a safety check focusing on the pump rooms and the JP-5 pipes. If the pipes have corrosion or any cracks, the fuel may potentially leak and the evolution will cease until the spill is secured.

“The evolution went flawlessly. We received 39,219 gallons of fuel,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Burns. “Once again GW’s Air Department has defined themselves as the premier 'grapevine' in the fleet.”

“The ship already had some fuel, so the 39,000 gallons just topped off what the ship already had,” said Chisholm.

Noting that V4 division has not pumped fuel in eight to 10 months, he added, “This was an opportunity for V4 to get back into the groove of things."

The evolution helped Sailors get prepared for going out to sea, fueling aircraft and being operational. This onload helped V4 get ready for the next onload in July where they will bring on about 750,000 gallons of fuel.

GW is undergoing a $300 million shipyard availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard as it prepares to relieve USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Japan in 2008.

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