NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The crew of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is preparing for the ship's undocking and move to a pier location at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard by holding a mini "fast cruise" May 9. The fast cruise will help the crew prepare for getting the aircraft carrier underway for the first time since 2005.
"Our main objective for this fast cruise is to identify any kind of obstacles that may pose a problem for us during our undocking," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eric Croft, quality assurance officer for Carl Vinson. "We conduct these fast cruises to ensure everyone knows their role for when the ship gets underway. This particular evolution is like a dress rehearsal for the undocking, and is called a fast cruise because the ship does not actually leave the pier."
The fast cruise will be a significant preparation event for Carl Vinson's crew and employees at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard; because hundreds of different cuts have been made into the skin of the ship, and have been rewelded during the first phase of the ship's Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH). To ensure the ship remains afloat and maintains watertight integrity, water is introduced to the hull of the ship methodically and with careful planning.
"We will start introducing water about 12 feet on the hull, and it will go up from there," said Croft. "However, the ship will not actually float until the day of undocking."
Many of Carl Vinson's departments will play a vital role in the fast cruise including engineering, reactor, air, deck, and weapons. One of the key people responsible for the smooth evolution of Carl Vinson's undocking event is the ship's damage control assistant (DCA), Lt. Cmdr. Chris Majors.
Majors will be verifying the ship's watchbill for accuracy, as well as enforcing precision of communication between the main control stations to include the pilot house, forecastle, damage control (DC) central and other watch stations.
"This kind of event helps get everyone in the mindset of being underway again, and warms them up for the real thing," said Majors. "DC Central will be monitoring the ship's list and the condition of the tanks for flooding."
Thanks to the preparation efforts of crew members and employees from Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, Team Carl Vinson will use the fast cruise evolution to methodically plan for undocking, and ensure the success of the ship's first underway event in more than a year and a half.
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 more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.