NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Eleven USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Sailors attended the 2007 Aviation Boatswain's (AB) Mate Symposium, July 31-Aug. 3, in Silverdale, Wash., where they received a first look at new equipment soon to be released into the Navy's aviation community.
Hundreds of Sailors from all over the fleet attended the symposium, which was designed for Sailors in the AB rating to meet and share ideas on how to improve processes and procedures for carrier flight deck operations.
The symposium was facilitated by the naval Aviation Boatswain's Mate Association, a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 for active-duty and retired Sailors who are serving or have served in the AB rating.
"It's important to educate Sailors, especially those who are junior, on the association and what it offers, as far as assisting with the Navy's AB community," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) 1st Class (AW/SW) Shalmicheal Hampton, Carl Vinson's Air Department's V-4 division leading petty officer (LPO). "This event is held annually, and the importance of getting Sailors actively involved in the program is very important for our community."
The association's goal is to increase the number of attendees from the year prior. Members are working to build a database filled with smarter ideas and business practices to assist Sailors serving aboard aircraft carriers in the fleet.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class (AW/SW) Sofia Muneer, Carl Vinson's Air Department's V-2 division's training petty officer, was pleased to integrate her experience and knowledge into the weeklong symposium.
"I had the opportunity to share my thoughts, as well as receive firsthand training on the electromagnetic catapults, arresting gears, [and attend] workshops held to discuss thoughts on equipment-related problems, and the new joint-strike fighter aircraft, the F-35," said Muneer. "All these suggestions are taken into consideration throughout the fleet."
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class (AW/SW) Kaylon Boston, from Carl Vinson's Air Department's V-1 division, also had the opportunity to attend the symposium and learn more about his career field.
"I had the opportunity to learn about new aviation equipment that will be used on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), which is supposed to be designed to be the lead ship of its class of the United States super-carriers," said Boston. "I also had the chance to meet many senior enlisted and officers who had much experience in my rate. There was a lot of 'salt' at the symposium, who worked hard to keep the association going and motivated me to continue with a successful career."
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 more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.