SECNAV Visits 'America's Favorite Aircraft Carrier'

Story Number: NNS060718-06Release Date: 7/18/2006 2:13:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jason McCammack, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Donald C. Winter stepped aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as part of his visit to the Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard July 8 for the island-landing ceremony aboard PCU George H. W. Bush.

Winter was greeted in the "Gold Eagle's" hangar bay by Carl Vinson's Commanding Officer, Capt. Kevin Donegan, who explained CVN 70's progress during its current Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH).

"It was great to visit Carl Vinson this weekend and spend time with some of the ship's crew," Winter said. "I saw a dedicated crew doing good work supporting this refueling complex overhaul, and I know that Team Vinson's efforts will accomplish our objective of extending the ship's life an additional 25 years."

While aboard, Winter also had the chance to speak with several Vinson Sailors from the day's duty section, all of whom were lined up sharply near Vinson's quarterdeck, awaiting their chance to greet the Navy's senior leader.

"His visit to Carl Vinson lets us know that our job is important and that we are doing it right," said Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 3rd Class (NAC) Matthew Hall, a security dispatcher and member of the primary dispatch force. "It's good to know he cares about his Navy and took the time to come here for a visit. It was an honor to meet him."

The enlisted leadership of Vinson's crew was also pleased that the Secretary was able to make time for some words of encouragement for the junior Sailors.

"It is important for junior Sailors to have high-ranking individuals visit the ship," said Aerographer's Mate 1st Class (AW/SW) Jason Ehlenberger from Operations Department. "It's great that senior leadership is coming out here to see what is happening on the deckplates."

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.

For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at

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