Carl Vinson Prepares to Bring Navy Cash Program Aboard

Story Number: NNS080723-14Release Date: 7/23/2008 10:19:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Candice Villarreal, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The disbursing team stationed aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is training crew members on the Navy Cash program this July in preparation for the ship's upcoming crew move aboard (CMA) evolution and the carrier's transition to a "cashless" community.

The Navy Cash program, an automated and technologically advanced money management system designed for use aboard Navy vessels, eliminates the need for coin and paper currency aboard.

Navy Cash cards, which are similar to bank-issued debit cards, are equipped with both "smart chip" and magnetic strip technology and allow Sailors to access funds both aboard and while on liberty. Aboard, Navy Cash cards can be used to make purchases from vending machines, mess facilities, ship's store and anywhere else a financial transaction can be made.

"The old ship ATM-at-sea program could only be used on the ship," said Damage Controlman Fireman Andrew Smetana. "With the new cards, we have more options."

Carl Vinson's fiscal officer, Ensign John Bing, explained the ship will be outfitted with cards and machines and will be completely "cashless" by late August, when crew members begin calling the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier home for the first time since 2005.

Like regular debit cards, the program relies on bank-to-bank communications, as well as the ship's local area network and satellite-relayed information. Funds can be added to Sailors' Navy Cash account by way of account transfers. For Sailors who would like to contribute a portion of their monthly pay to their Navy Cash account, a split-pay option is also available.

"It's like having one bank card that you can carry with you anywhere, so it's much more convenient," said Smetana. "Plus, it's a lot safer than storing or carrying cash. The cards will make transactions much easier and more efficient for the entire crew."

Carl Vinson is undergoing her scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. 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 her for another 25 years or more of service.

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