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Senator, Former SECNAV Tours Carl Vinson

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070514-25
Release Date: 5/14/2007 4:47:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Candice Villarreal, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Virginia Senator Jim Webb visited USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) on May 11 at its new location on Pier 3 at Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN) shipyard in Newport News.

Webb toured the “Gold Eagle” and spoke with Commanding Officer Capt. Ted Carter about the aircraft carrier’s Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) process.

Webb also took time to meet with some of Carl Vinson’s stellar crew members, to include Sailor of the Year Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (AW/SW) Matthew McCauley, Blue Jacket of the Quarter Storekeeper 3rd Class (SW/AW) Donald Heflin, and Junior Sailor of the Year Storekeeper 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jannett Ricketts.

“It was an honor to have a senator and former Secretary of the Navy, with his extensive military background, take the time to come aboard and see what we’re doing here,” said McCauley. “Senator Webb took great interest in seeing the progress Carl Vinson is making during RCOH.”

Webb graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968. Following his commissioning with the Marine Corps, he served with the 5th Marine Regiment in Vietnam. There, Webb earned the Navy Cross, Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, and two Purple Hearts.

“This aircraft carrier is a national strategic asset,” said Webb. “It’s great to be on board, and I’d like to give the entire crew my heartfelt thanks for this opportunity.”

Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled 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 it the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare it for another 25 years or more of service.

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