Carl Vinsonís Fire Watch Division Receives Quality of Life Upgrades

Story Number: NNS070806-07Release Date: 8/6/2007 4:26:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joel Carlson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- A new space was established aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Aug. 3, to enhance quality of life for crew members assigned to the ship's Fire Watch division.

The new center of excellence, which encompasses air-cooled spaces, ample water supplies, computers, and professional development training resources, is designed to help Sailors stay cool, hydrated, and busy during their breaks of while assigned fire watches.

"The purpose of the new space is to improve quality of life for Sailors who work in Fire Watch division," said Carl Vinson's assistant Air Boss, Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Fitzpatrick. "By improving their working conditions, hopefully we can keep morale up and do our part as leaders to provide the best work environment possible; even in the refueling complex overhaul (RCOH)environment."

The specially designed space will not only allow Fire Watch division personnel the opportunity to take cool breaks between watches, but also will be used to facilitate Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) training resources, according to Fitzpatrick. A location to access NKO was necessary because the Fire Watch workload did not afford the opportunity for crew members to access computer workstations in their home departments.

This summer, fire watch personnel have been busy working with employees from Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, ensuring that fires are minimized and quickly distinguished when conducting vital hot work around the ship.

For Sailors assigned to the Fire Watch division, the quality of life changes have made an immediate effect on their job satisfaction.

"We had 'zero' access to NKO before this space was established for our Sailors," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class (AW) Howard Hoffer, Fire Watch section leader. "Now we don't have to worry about missing training, and we can keep all our personnel up to date on the training they need."

"Additionally, our Fire Watch team has provided more than 75,000 man-hours toward supporting the safe execution of hundreds of potentially dangerous jobs," said Fitzpatrick. "These Sailors are making a huge impact on the successful completion of Carl Vinson's RCOH."

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

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