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Teamwork of Crew Helps Carl Vinson Achieve Milestone

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070515-26
Release Date: 5/15/2007 7:49:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Maja Dyson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) accomplished another milestone May 9 when the ship moved from dry-dock to a pier location at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, where it will continue the second half of the aircraft carrier's Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH).

Carl Vinson has been in dry-dock since November 2005, where the aircraft carrier's rudders, propellers, shaft, and anchors were refurbished or replaced to help bring the ship back for 25 more years of service to the fleet.

In order for Carl Vinson's first underway period in more than a year and a half to be successful, the ship had to rely on the experience and teamwork of its crew.

“I’ve been through two dry-dock periods, but this was my first time being stationed on board a carrier,” said Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SW) Gerrendale Owens of Engineering Department. “To see how an aircraft carrier operates during Refueling Complex Overhaul and the team effort needed from all departments to ensure safe operations and efficient services is a great experience.”

Owens is currently assigned to the ship's lagging team, which is refurbishing shipboard spaces in preparation for the crew's eventual move back aboard. On the day of ship's movement, however, Owens took a break from his lagging team duties and performed tag-out audits during the ship’s three-hour underway period and movement to a pier location.

For Sailors like Owens, the brief underway experience validated how important each crew member is to a safe and successful ship's movement.

“I had to verify more than 200 tags,” said Owens. “I had to make certain the tags were properly placed on the equipment to ensure our underway team stayed safe."

Owens was not the only Sailor who learned how important teamwork and safety are in an underway environment.

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (SW) Robert Curtis, a central sterilization technician for Carl Vinson’s Dental Department, was a medic in the ship’s forecastle during Carl Vinson's move and shift from dry dock to a pier-side location.

"Teamwork means everything to a safe ship's movement," said Curtis. “I was thoroughly impressed with how well the crew worked together while out at sea. Teamwork is a necessity for achieving the ship’s goals and milestones, and as a crew, we applied ourselves today to make this evolution successful."

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 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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