Carl Vinson’s Hull Technicians Prepare for the Crew’s Move Aboard

Story Number: NNS071009-10Release Date: 10/9/2007 3:10:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Stephen Tate, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the pipe refitting and repair shop aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) have made some significant accomplishments during the month of September as the aircraft carrier moves closer to its crew move board scheduled for late 2008.

"We've refurbished more than three-fourths of the heads on board the ship as of last month," said Chief Hull Technician (SW/AW) Lonny Lentz, of Carl Vinson's Engineering Department. "That's including sinks, showers, and commodes. In addition to that, we've managed to meet our goals to restore a sizeable portion of the ship's air conditioning systems."

Due to the repair element, the aircraft carrier's refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) offers Carl Vinson's Hull Technicians (HT) a similar work tempo as when the ship is at sea.

"The pipe shop has actually had more jobs since we've been in RCOH than when the ship was underway," said Lentz.

Hull Technician 3rd Class (SW/AW) Natalie Kukurba said that pipe shop team members take their job very seriously, because their work involves so many facets of the ship's current overhaul.

"Our work extends into most spaces on the ship in some way, shape, or form," said Kukurba. "We know our work will have a big impact on our crew move aboard effort."

According to Lentz, the key to success for Carl Vinson's pipe shop centers around two important aspects of their work ethic: versatility and a can-do attitude.

"The HT rating is very broad and we're kind of jacks-of-all-trades," said Lentz. "We do welding, carpentry, and the plumbing throughout the ship. Basically, everyone on board comes to us for something in support of their shipboard spaces."

But many Sailors from the "Gold Eagle" pipe shop said that it's the broadness of their job that has attracted them to the demanding work they perform.

"I absolutely love this job," said Kukurba. "I never thought I would have been a welder when I joined the Navy. But now that I am one, I absolutely love doing it. Knowing that the work I do has an effect on the entire ship makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something great."

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.

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