NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The executive director of the Program Executive Office for Aircraft Carriers (PEO Carriers) walked USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) decks the morning of June 30.
Brian Persons visited spaces and evaluated the efficiency of Vinson's work processes during the ship's current Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) in Northrop Grumman's Newport News Shipyard. Persons is the senior civilian official within the Department of the Navy responsible for, among many other things, the daily operations of the PEO Carriers organization and all life-cycle support programs for the Navy's aircraft carriers.
"This visit was a great opportunity for a key member of the Naval Sea Systems Command's leadership to see Vinson and her crew in action," said the ship's Commanding Officer, Capt. Kevin Donegan. "While Mr. Persons gets plenty of information from us in briefings and official communications as to how the RCOH is going, there's no substitute for him getting a firsthand, face-to-face look at the great work being done by Vinson Sailors on a day-to-day basis."
During Persons' visit, he traversed the ship's now-industrialized ladder wells and passageways, talking with Sailors such as Electronics Technician 1st Class(SW) Michael Harris, the lead representative for Carl Vinson's work control center, on their successes and work processes while in the yards.
"One of work control's primary responsibilities is to control the efficiency of all work authorization forms (WAF) produced by the ship," said Harris. "We performed a step-by-step evaluation of the way WAFs were being produced and routed, and we were able to eliminate a few steps.
"This boosted the overall efficiency of the process. Translated into hard numbers, we developed a 63 percent decrease in 'throughput time' - time taken to transfer paperwork through all individuals - and a 27 percent decrease in 'process time' - time from the actual production of the WAF to the completion of the job," he added. "[Mr. Persons] seemed pretty impressed with our improvements, and for someone of his stature recognizing that we are doing our job well is very motivating."
Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SW/AW) Charly Williams, Combat Systems Department's cable team work group supervisor, also "enjoy[ed] seeing [Persons] bring [his] level of concern down to the deckplates.
"That's where the work's at," she said. "Finding out firsthand that things are running as smooth as the upper levels of management are telling them is important."
After delving deeper into Carl Vinson's steel guts, Persons agreed with the consensus of ship's personnel that Team Vinson's RCOH is going superbly. After his hike across "America's Favorite Aircraft Carrier," he reciprocated Harris' and Williams' feelings of satisfaction for a job well done.
"The highlight of my visit was meeting with the ship's force zone managers and listening to them describe how they perform their work. The discussion I had with the crew on their improvements related to the work authorization form (WAF) process is one the best examples of efficiency I have experienced. I commend the captain and the members of the crew for getting this RCOH off to a great start. They have met every challenge I have given them and exceeded all of my expectations. I look forward to visiting Vinson again in the near future."
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 www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.