NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The sheriff of the Newport News Jail enjoyed a brief visit to "America's Favorite Aircraft Carrier" July 19 as he stepped aboard to honor the efforts of more than 170 Sailors from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
Jail Sheriff Gabriel Morgan gave Vinson's Commanding Officer, Capt. Kevin Donegan, a plaque as a way to formally thank his crew for their participation in a mock evacuation drill at the Newport News jail April 27.
"The jail is currently overcrowded," said Morgan, "and this evacuation test showed that in the event of a real emergency, we would not have been able to evacuate all the inmates in time. Thanks to the support from [Vinson's] crew...we can move forward and redesign our emergency response plan to create a better evacuation system."
The support offered to the city of Newport News by Vinson's crew was only possible thanks to the "Gold Eagle's" firm commitment to maintaining a robust program of community relations and involvement. To date, Vinson has logged more than 15,000 volunteer hours in and around the Tidewater Area.
According to Command Chaplain, Cmdr. Donald Cramblit, Vinson Sailors were very effective in helping the Newport News Jail.
"[Morgan] needed a large number of people who could take direction and respond quickly," he said. "Our Sailors were well suited for the job."
Being well suited didn't make the job a cake walk, though. Sailors like Seaman Alexandria Aguilar, one of the event's volunteers, had to overcome a bit of fear.
"Being inside the jail was uncomfortable and a little frightening," she said.
Morgan concluded the awards presentation by thanking Carl Vinson's crew and her captain.
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (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.
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