Gold Eagle Fire Watch Division Approaches Mission Completion

Story Number: NNS080423-21Release Date: 4/23/2008 3:25:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Nina Hughes, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the fire watch division aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) are nearing the completion of their fire watch mission this April as they enter the final stages of assisting Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard to ensure all hot work is performed safely on the ship.

More than 160 "Gold Eagle" Sailors temporarily assigned to the fire watch division, which formed March 2007, have displayed the pride and ownership inherent to the Carl Vinson crew, by taking duties normally performed by government contractors into their own hands.

"I think standing fire watch for the division is, in a way, just another important role in everyday Navy life," said Seaman (SW) Rodney Smith, originally from the Deck Department. "We are protecting our ship and saving money at the same time, and it feels great to know I am part of that evolution."

By the time fire watch division wraps-up in July, Carl Vinson Sailors will have provided millions of dollars in cost avoidance with their contributions; all by protecting the aircraft carrier they will call home when the crew begins to move aboard this summer.

"Fire watch works hand-in-hand with Northrop Grumman Newport News to ensure ship's force personnel are protected and that all hot work is monitored properly and safely," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class (AW/SW) Melody Harris, leading petty officer for the division.

As the completion of ship's force fire watch duties marks yet another milestone throughout its refueling complex overhaul.

"We'll be out to sea again very soon," said Smith. "Everybody's playing their part in bringing the ship out of the yards on time. When that time comes, Fire Watch will have made its own contribution."

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