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Innovative Pier Facility Enhances Teamwork For Carl Vinson RCOH

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070627-01
Release Date: 6/27/2007 12:13:00 PM

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is enjoying the benefits of a new and innovative aircraft carrier pier at the ship’s current home at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard where the aircraft carrier is currently at the midpoint of its scheduled Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH).

For employees from Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, the new “pier 3” enables their company to provide an innovative pier and support structure that offers some of the most modern amenities and services for aircraft carriers undergoing RCOH, as well as being equipped for future carrier construction projects.

“We try to build to the latest and greatest standards,” said Bob Fallon, Northrop Grumman Newport News’ plant engineering manager. “Often we build such unique projects, we set the standards.”

Carl Vinson is the first aircraft carrier to be outfitted and tested on the new pier 3 facility. It has many features that other piers in the shipyard aren’t equipped with, so Carl Vinson’s crew and shipyard employees are able to stay closer to their work locations, facilitating a closer bond, increasing teamwork initiatives and streamlining efficiencies with work flow and production.

Carl Vinson’s Air Boss, Cmdr. Michael Whetstone, said the proximity of shipyard employees to the workflow is important to the successful accomplishment of Carl Vinson’s RCOH.

“Access is the key to everything,” said Whetstone. “Having access to those guys just makes it that much easier. With today's technology, everybody is just a phone call away, but so much of what you want to do here, you want to do it face to face. You want to be able to talk, and be sure your point of view gets understood."

As Carl Vinson progresses through the second half of its scheduled 40-month RCOH, teamwork and efficiency with the aircraft carrier’s shipyard partners will continue to be crucial for success. With the addition of Northrop Grumman Newport News’ modern pier 3 facility, shipyard employees as well as Carl Vinson crewmembers say the pier will go a long way in the effort to facilitate the teamwork needed to be successful in bringing the ship back for 25 more years of service 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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