Carl Vinson's Painting, Preservation Team Save Millions in RCOH Budget


Story Number: NNS061222-07Release Date: 12/22/2006 10:18:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Chris Fahey, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Public Affairs Office

NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- Twenty Sailors from USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) Air Department are helping to save millions of dollars for the ship's refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) budget.

Since Nov. 22, Air Department's painting and preservation teams have been grinding, sanding, and painting the ship's three hangar bays and superstructure, or island. The Sailors' efforts saved the carrier from subcontracting the work to civilian firms.

"Preservational painting keeps the exterior of the ship and bulkheads around the hangar bays from getting seriously damaged due to constant exposure to weather," said Air Department's RCOH Coordinator, Lt. Cmdr. Charles Huntington. "It also enables the Carl Vinson and Northrop Grumman Newport News team to put out a better product at the end of the RCOH."

Ten Sailors paint the ship's six-story superstructure on the flight deck while ten paint all three interior hangar bays. The hangar bays stretch roughly 300 yards in length, 125 feet in width and reach 25 feet high.

"Each of our Sailors have completed extensive respirator and safety harness training before sent out to either site," said superstructure paint team supervisor, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (AW) Jesse Parker. "In addition, we observe the 'two-person rule,' making sure each Sailor has a buddy with him at all times, and we make sure to practice good operational risk management."

While Air department leaders emphasize that grinding and painting is not a glamorous way to spend a Navy workday, each Sailor understands the importance of contributing to Vinson's RCOH progress.

"The Sailors we have working on both these projects were hand picked for their ability to accomplish hard and challenging tasks," said paint team leading petty officer, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (AW) Dale Middleton. "These are hard-charging, dedicated Sailors we knew could handle this high-visibility job, and we are very proud of their performance."

USS 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 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/.

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