'Gold Eagle' Electricians Prepare Catapults for Operations

Story Number: NNS080428-23Release Date: 4/28/2008 9:44:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Philip Schrickel, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors from the "Gold Eagle" steam catapult and arresting gear team began conducting hydraulic electrical check-outs on all Catapult 1 electrical systems on board this April; an evolution that marks the imminent return of the aircraft carrier back to the fleet.

While the team has been working for months to get the catapults up-and-running, the check-outs serve as a means to verify the voltage and amperage of every circuit, ensuring the catapult will function properly when the aircraft carrier conducts flight operations at sea.

"My team and I have been doing all kinds of energized work on these systems," said Electrician's Mate 1st Class (AW/SW) Richard Pietruszka, of Carl Vinson's Air department. "I'm so grateful about how well everything has gone so far. We're really making a lot of progress."

Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Dwight Cooper of the catapult electronics team agreed, adding that the teamwork between the Carl Vinson and Northrop Grumman Newport News crews have been paramount to the evolution.

"It has been a great experience being able to work with the X31 division," said Cooper. "While we work together, we share knowledge and experience, which just enhances the entire process."

Carl Vinson Sailors have been working hand-in-hand with the Northrop Grumman team since the ship began its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) in late 2005.

"What we're doing is not only vital to the successful completion of RCOH, but ultimately to the primary function of the aircraft carrier, which is conducting mission-essential air operations."

By the time RCOH is complete, every catapult on board will be refurbished and in optimal working condition. With each hydraulic electrical check-out performed, the crew draws nearer to marking yet another milestone in the ship's RCOH progress.

"I can't wait to get on with the next phase of our check-outs," said Piertruszka. "One by one, we're getting that much closer to where we need to be."

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.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.

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