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Carl Vinson Sends Desperately Needed Water Ashore

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100120-07
Release Date: 1/20/2010 4:15:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shentel M. Yarnell and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Heather Roe, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

USS CARL VINSON, At sea (NNS) -- Using a new water dispensing system they designed, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Sailors were able to significantly increase the amount of water - nearly 3,000 gallons - Carl Vinson can deliver ashore while operating off the coast of Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response.

Carl Vinson is currently supporting Operation Unified Response under the command of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet.

Carl Vinson had been producing fresh water and filling containers for delivery ashore, but Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier realized a method of filling the containers faster was needed.

Over the course of two days, Carl Vinson Engineering Department hull technicians created a unique 12-faucet pure water dispenser. Sailors then built and assembled two of these faucet systems, nicknaming the water distribution process "Operation Hydration."

"We have the capabilities and manpower to help," said Engineering Repair Division Leading Petty Officer Hull Technician 1st Class (SW/AW) Harmon Hazelwood. "It is a crisis and we are maximizing water usage to the best of our abilities."

Hull technicians drew up plans for the faucets, factoring in water pressure and efficiency. They next cut the pipes, calculating where the holes should be placed for even distribution, and then pieced the system together.

The dispensers were partially assembled in Vinson's Engineering Department's pipe shop and then taken to the flight deck for final assembly. The hoses used to supply the dispensers with potable water are normally used to wash down aircraft, and the dispensers were built for use on the flight deck or in the hangar bay, allowing Sailors to easily load full water containers into helicopters for distribution to those in need.

A total of 80 water spouts can now be used at the same time to fill containers, a significant improvement from previous, less efficient means. The two new water dispensers are capable of producing 120 gallons of clean water per minute, effectively allowing Carl Vinson Sailors to fill a 5-gallon container in 36 seconds.

Since the dispensers began operating Jan. 18, Carl Vinson Sailors have filled and loaded more than 800 five-gallon containers of water. The Nimitz-class carrier desalinizes more than 400,000 gallons of water each day, 200,000 gallons of which are excess and can be loaded into water containers and distributed ashore.

Hull technicians involved in the water dispener system's construction are happy to have had a part in the relief efforts.

"It's great to help other people," said Hull Technician 3rd Class Brandon Key, who helped assemble the dispensers. "It's a good feeling, helping in their time of need."

Operation Unified Response is a large joint military operation directed by Joint Task Force Haiti, and is designed to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the people in Haiti affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the island nation Jan. 12.

For more information, please contact NAVSO/C4F Public Affairs at (904) 483-6870 or email Additional information is available at our command website, or our Facebook page at

Additional information on DoD support to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti is available at and

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit

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