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Northrop Grumman Newport News, Carl Vinson Celebrate Move to Pierside

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070605-12
Release Date: 6/5/2007 2:18:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joel Carlson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The crew of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard employees celebrated a recent move from drydock to a pier location by taking time out for team building activities and a barbecue May 31.

"It's pretty phenomenal when the entire crew of both USS Carl Vinson and Northrop Grumman Newport News can gather for a day and reflect on the progress they've made together," said Carl Vinson Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Glenn Mallo. "I've never seen anything like this."

Employees from Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, who sponsored the event, shared similar feelings.

"We aren't just celebrating our progress over the past couple of months," said Jim Hughes, shipyard program director of Carl Vinson's refueling complex overhaul (RCOH). "This is a celebration of the past 18 months, and the teambuilding that has developed along the way."

The sight of Carl Vinson moored at a pierside location was affirmation for the members of Team Carl Vinson, as both crews enjoyed a rare time-out from a rigorous shipyard schedule to reflect together on milestones accomplished, and the challenges yet to come during the next phase of RCOH.

Sailors and shipyard personnel also worked together to prepare an outdoor feast for the entire crew, from setting up tables to ensuring there was a continuous supply of food and drinks for more than 5,000 hungry attendees.

"We've been here since 9 a.m., and we'll be here as long as needed," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Matthew Dobbins, who was part of Carl Vinson's set-up crew.

During the event, more than 10,000 hamburgers and hot dogs were served to both Sailors and shipyard employees alike. This massive undertaking could not have been enjoyed by both crews without a cooperative effort between Carl Vinson Sailors and their shipyard employee counterparts.

"The shipyard employees were extremely helpful and easy to work with, which made this a successful event for all of us," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (NAC/AW/SW) Dawn Molinero, in charge of Carl Vinson's set-up crew.

The event ended with an appreciation for Carl Vinson's progress during RCOH, and a new level of enthusiasm for the challenges that are ahead of Team Carl Vinson in delivering the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier back to the fleet.

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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