Vinson's Reactor Department Completes Half of SFWP

Story Number: NNS060720-20Release Date: 7/20/2006 10:18:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Chris Fahey, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) Reactor Department completed 50 percent of its ship's force work package (SFWP), June 30, marking a milestone in the ship's overall success during its current Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH).

Reactor's SFWP consists of an estimated 5,995 different tasks designed to complement work performed by the Northrop Grumman Newport News' (NGNN) employees and facilitate a smooth RCOH.

"I'm extremely proud of the Sailors in reactor department once again," said Vinson Reactor Officer Capt. Kevin Terry. "They really hit a home run reaching 50 percent. I look forward to our department completing the remainder of the SFWP and setting the Carl Vinson project team up for total success during the follow-on testing phase of the RCOH."

Reactor jobs under the SFWP can range from a basic valve repack, taking roughly 15 minutes of actual work time, to rebuilding a high-pressure air compressor, which recently required five Reactor Sailors and an entire work week to accomplish.

Despite the variety and intensity of jobs, the milestone success is attributed to a department-aligned work philosophy.

"It's procedure and procedural compliance, [following a] questioning philosophy, watch-team back up, and taking ownership of ships' force work that got us here," said Reactor RCOH Leading Chief Petty Officer, Chief Machinist's Mate (SW) Brian Johnson. "It takes a lot of things to click to get even a single job completed, so we couldn't have gotten this far without the outstanding dedication of the whole reactor team, and their adherence to our overall philosophy."

The "Gold Eagle's" Reactor team consists of 32 work centers and nearly 500 conventional and nuclear-trained Sailors. Standing out among the "nukes" are members from Reactor Propulsion Division. In total, they completed 1,670 of their 2,633 scheduled tasks (63.4 percent), which according to Propulsion Division Sailor Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Sean Schaefer, made them the pride of Reactor Department.

"We earned a lot of respect," said Schaefer. "We really worked hard, and it felt good to carry the department."

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 her 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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