BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- While USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) undergoes routine maintenance and repairs at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, the ship's flight deck is getting some special attention during the month of February.
Critical work on Lincoln's arresting cables will ensure aircraft can land safely on the flight deck to accomplish the mission of the carrier.
The aviation boatswain's mates aboard Lincoln who work in the catapult engine rooms are well aware of the importance of the cables. These Sailors have begun the process to remove the old cable and install a new cable from the catapult engine to the flight deck.
"This process isn't done often," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Equipment 1st Class (AW) Michael O'Rourke. "It's usually only done when something major has been done to the engine."
There are two main steps to the process: the hand reeve and the re-reeve. The hand reeve process needs about 10 Sailors to accomplish and can take up to six hours to finish, said O'Rourke.
A messenger cable, or a cable that is smaller than the actual cable that is used for the arresting cable, is pulled through the engine. Then the end of the messenger cable is welded to the end of the cable that connects to the new arresting cable, or the new purchase cable.
O'Rourke said the hand reeve process is a critical task and much care must be taken during the process. If the messenger cable isn't installed into the engine correctly it could cause the cable to cross itself or cause a tangle.
Once the new purchase cable has been welded to the messenger cable, the re-reeve process begins. The messenger cable will be pulled out of the engine, pulling the purchase cable into its place.
"It could put an aircraft in the water if it's not done right," said O'Rourke.
According to O'Rourke, the entire re-reeve process will take almost 20 hours and requires roughly 25 Sailors to accomplish.
Through the hard work and dedication of O'Rourke and his team, Lincoln's aviators and Sailors on the flight deck can remain safe during upcoming flight operations later this spring.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.