USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The commanding officer and crew of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) celebrated with a traditional spiking of a football in Hangar Bay 2 for passing its INSURV (Board of Inspection and Survey) April 21.
Stennis ended an 11-month overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in December 2005, and the crew had been preparing for the inspection ever since. Several teams were created to tackle the job of fixing deficiencies in the material condition of various parts of the ship, including watertight doors, hatches and scuttles, decks, lagging and electrical cabling.
"Preparing for this inspection involved three months of dedicated full-court press from all ranks," said Lt. Cmdr. William S. O'Connor, Stennis' damage control assistant. "It was the most amazing display of shipwide teamwork I've ever seen."
The inspection team came aboard April 18, outfitted in gray coveralls and flashlights, to inspect the material condition and operational readiness of the carrier.
'The inspectors were professional and tough and insisted on seeing every part of every piece of [damage control] equipment on the entire ship," said O'Connor.
"You have to be able to show [the inspectors] you know what you are doing," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Gilbert Sandum, engineering department. "If my equipment doesn't work, then it's not only my life that's in danger but those around me. It was important to pass the inspection, but even more so, I'm not going to endanger my shipmates' lives by not doing my job," he added.
When the commanding officer declared Stennis had officially passed the inspection, hundreds of Sailors were gathered around him on the quarterdeck as he offered praise for a job well done.
"We came out of this inspection the number one carrier in the past year, the past three years, the past five years, and this coming from the toughest inspection team left in the Navy," said Stennis Commanding Officer Capt. Dave H. Buss.
Stennis passed the damage control portion of the inspection with a score of 90 and was declared ready-for-sea on the first day. The Combat Systems department scored a 1.0 in the detect-to-engage sequence, giving other carriers an ideal standard to strive for.
"I applaud your efforts in maintaining John C. Stennis at such a high state of material condition and combat readiness," said Commander, Carrier Strike Group 3, Rear Adm. Kevin M. Quinn. "You have certainly set a new standard for the Pacific Fleet."
For related news, visit the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.