'Gold Eagle' Sailors Restore Weapons Elevators

Story Number: NNS080812-24Release Date: 8/12/2008 7:32:00 PM
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By Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Brandon Monette, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Weapons Department are preparing to complete a major Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) milestone this August, by bringing many of the ship's weapons elevators back to full operational status.

Trial runs are being conducted on the elevators and the systems are slated to be operational in the next few months.

For Sailors involved in the project, the restoration of weapons elevators is a clear signal that Carl Vinson is one step closer to becoming an operational aircraft carrier.

"The elevators are an essential part of our at sea operations," said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class (AW) Heather Sears. "The G-4 division has been devoted to the ongoing progress of this evolution and it's great to finally see results."

A team of aviation ordnancemen, machinist's mates and electrician's mates comprise Vinson's G-4 division, which is responsible for maintenance and repair of the ship's weapons elevators. These elevators ensure that ship's ordnance has full capability of movement from the flight deck to storage magazines below.

"The importance of these weapons elevators is immense," said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (AW/SW) John Bebber. "The elevators have a full-time function of transporting ordnance in an expedited manner. Without them, it would be an extremely tedious task of supporting our ship's operations."

With the ship undergoing construction around the elevators during the RCOH period, it has been no easy task bringing the elevators back to life. Proactive planning, flexible scheduling and long hours by G-4 division Sailors have been the driving force in completing this project.

"There are a lot of repairs that have to be made throughout this entire operation," said Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Jeffery Morgan. "We've really worked as a team, regardless of rate, to make headway in this evolution and the hard work is paying off."

With the Crew Move Aboard taking place in just a few days, Carl Vinson Sailors continue to demonstrate great morale while putting forth the effort required to meet key shipyard deadlines. According to Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (AW/SW) Mark Wilkinson, the G-4 division is no exception and is meeting its deadlines with outstanding success.

"G-4 has been working toward this milestone for a while and all of the man hours put in are definitely worth it," said Wilkinson. "Because the elevators are such a detrimental part of the ship, we really wanted to show the crew fantastic results."

Carl Vinson is 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.

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

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