NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The calibration lab aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the "Gold Eagle," is working diligently this February to implement a new calibration requirement list (CRL) released by Naval Sea Command Systems in late 2007.
"The CRL instruction is used to standardize the tracking of shipboard calibrated equipment," said Chief Aviation Electronics Technician (AW) Todd Brown, leading chief petty officer for the ship's calibration lab. "Our goal is to have our CRL fully implemented and functional by the end of our shipyard period."
The lab, a division of the ship's Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, tests equipment to ensure it is calibrated to specific tolerance levels.
"Currently, we have about 8,000 items that we are already actively tracking, and we are expecting that number to increase with the implementation of the CRL," said Brown. "We accept nothing less than proper [working] equipment on this ship."
Because they are responsible for so many items, the work of Carl Vinson's calibration lab has an impact on nearly every division on board.
"We test equipment from all over the ship," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW/SW) Alain Wescott, the calibration lab's leading petty officer. "Nearly every division has equipment ranging from voltage meters to temperature gauges, and we test every one of them to ensure they read correctly."
To perform these tests, the calibration lab uses standards to cross-reference equipment that is already properly calibrated with equipment that is going to be tested.
"We take a piece of equipment that needs to be tested, and compare it to the equipment we have in our shop that we know is calibrated properly," said Wescott. "From there we make the adjustments necessary to ensure the equipment reads properly."
The impact and relevance of these calibration tests are essential to the mission of Carl Vinson, even while operating in a shipyard environment.
"Calibrated equipment plays a vital part in the safety of so many shipboard systems," said Wescott. "Most recently, our calibrations enabled our core departments to reach key production completion dates with our [refueling complex overhaul]."
The work of the Sailors assigned to Carl Vinson's calibration lab also has another key function; ensuring safety with properly functioning gauges.
"The departments have gauges that safely measure levels of several different things," said Machinists Mate 2nd Class (SW/SS) Keith Mosher. "No system can operate safely or properly without the proper calibration."
Despite the challenges with implementing a new CRL on board, Carl Vinson's calibration team looks forward to the challenge each day brings.
"I love the analytical, problem-solving nature of the work we do," said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Erik Ibbett. "We work on so many different pieces of technical equipment that there is always a new challenge to face. We never know what to expect, but we know we can get the equipment calibrated and back on line."
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.