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GW Sailors Complete Fuel Onload Evolution

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070719-20
Release Date: 7/19/2007 5:13:00 PM

By Mass Comunication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Blackwell II, USS George Washington Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) (GW) took another pivotal step July 14 and 15 toward completing GW’s Planned Incremental Availability plus Docking by taking on more than 700,000 gallons of jet propulsion fuel (JP-5).

This onload will support the ship’s aviation fuel certification during upcoming sea trials.

During the ship’s at-sea testing period, the fuel will be primarily utilized by the aircraft squadrons stationed aboard GW. The fuel also supports several departments throughout the ship, such as Engineering Department for the emergency diesel generators; Deck Department for small boats; Supply Department for forklifts; and Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department for most of their ground support equipment.

“The mission as always is to have a safe and spill-free onload. Any time fuel is moved throughout the ship or otherwise it has the potential of leaking or spillage,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rodney Chisholm, Air Department’s V-4 division officer. “This evolution was planned, rehearsed and discussed on several occasions. In our briefs, we discussed operational risk management and took it slow and easy.”

The Fuels Bos’n, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Perry S. Salaiz, conducted a safety check focusing on the pump rooms and the JP-5 pipes before the onload got underway. If the pipes had corrosion or cracks, the fuel could potentially leak; therefore, the pipes were continually monitored to ensure no leaks would occur,

“I feel very proud of the Sailors who performed the way they did in order to ensure a safe, efficient transfer (of the fuel),” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel)(AW/SW) Michael German. “They worked well as a team and really brought it together when they needed to.”

To determine how much fuel is in the tanks in an operational environment, Air Department’s V-4 division used radar tank level indicators. This device, located at the sounding tube, provided a constant reading of liquid level and sent a remote signal to the JP-5 consoles and satellite monitors. Each tank has a different fuel capacity ranging from 12-35 thousand gallons, depending on tank location.

In order to accurately account for every gallon of fuel, V-4 division’s Sailors used both manual sounding tests and the automated system during the evolution. Other Sailors worked below decks to open and close the valves to the tanks which hold the fuel.

The evolution helped Sailors get prepared for going out to sea, fueling aircraft and being fully operational. In the upcoming sea trials, V-4 division will be tasked with efficiently carrying out fuel transfers and safely handling fuel during flight operations and underway replenishment details.

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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