NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- During the Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH), the duties of Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) may differ from their duties while the ship is operational. George Washington's combat systems department has adapted to the RCOH period and continues to do its part in contributing to the continued success of George Washington.
From assuring land connectivity to maintaining radars and communication systems, the combat systems department plays a vital role in ensuring that George Washington is able to complete everyday tasks and continue to execute its mission.
"The primary goal of combat systems is making sure that we have reliable systems for the ship to complete any tasking," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Christopher McCall. "We maintain radars, internal and external communication systems, and all networks and data systems onboard."
McCall especially enjoys the trouble shooting that comes with working in combat systems.
"My favorite part about what I do in communications is problem solving," said McCall. "Fixing things and having to use my mind to fix problems that aren't easy as well as learning new things every day and tackling the challenges that my job presents are all things I enjoy."
Combat systems' workforce is split into different divisions with each division specializing in a more specific aspect of achieving the department's goals.
"Combat systems is actually split into two separate branches," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Dwight Martin. "We have the I-Branch, whose goal is to ensure land connectivity, the integrity of files put on the share drive, along with ensuring that data gets out onto the web."
"M-Branch maintains the weapons systems radars along with most sensor equipment onboard," said Martin. "We have to make sure that all of those things are operational for the watch standers, operations, intel and navigation."
During RCOH the mission of combat systems can remain consistent or vary drastically.
"The overhaul period's basic differences really depend on the specific duties of that division," said Martin. "I-Branch's duties don't change much. We're still operating on the land connectivity, getting data out and taking trouble calls."
"M-Branch on the other hand has a completely different set of guidelines," said Martin. "The ship isn't operational so all of the duties that M-Branch normally handles aren't really applicable right now. A good portion of M-Branch has either been merged with other combat systems divisions to run the different aspects of the network, or they have been broken off into other departments to do miscellaneous tasks such as cable pulling and maintenance."
The RCOH period is a time that Sailors must adjust to changes in their everyday routines while remaining mission oriented. By staying engaged and committed to their onuses, the combat systems department continues to make sure that all George Washington Sailors are able to effectively do their jobs.
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