NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) reopened the ship's wardroom facility Aug. 19, after more than three years in overhaul.
The event highlighted a week of festivities marking the beginning of the ship's crew move aboard (CMA) evolution. CMA is one of the most significant shipyard milestones during the aircraft carrier's 40-month refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va.
The opening of the newly refurbished wardroom facility began with a special dedication, during which the ship's Executive Officer Capt. Stephen Koehler cut a red ribbon at the entrance to the dining area in honor of the first wardroom meal.
"This has been a great week for Carl Vinson," said Koehler. "We opened our crew mess, our chiefs' mess, and now the wardroom. Our new wardroom, along with our other dining facilities, are a reflection of the hard work, dedication and teamwork from the entire project team who helped bring these facilities back to life."
Sailors assigned to Carl Vinson's Supply Department said they spent long hours in recent weeks preparing the wardroom facility, along with other ship's galleys, for operations to coincide with the crew moving back aboard ship.
"This has been a busy week for supply department with the crew galley grand opening and the ship store opening, but this was also a great occasion because the officers finally got a chance to have a meal in their wardroom," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Kenneth Horsky, who helps manage wardroom food service operations. "Having all of our galley facilities back on line really signals that we've moved back aboard ship."
For many of Carl Vinson's officers, dining in the ship's wardroom for the first time in three years was a true milestone, considering all the hard work that was put into the refurbishment of the facility.
"I am thrilled to see the wardroom mess decks up and running," said Lt. Kwame Ofori, a member of the ship's weapons department. "This is a direct reflection of the wonderful progress we are making in our RCOH period, and I am looking forward to the added camaraderie this new facility will bring for our wardroom."
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/.