Carl Vinson Sailors Embrace Environmental Stewardship

Story Number: NNS080910-03Release Date: 9/10/2008 6:09:00 AM
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By Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Brandon Monette, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is keeping environmental stewardship in mind this September by implementing an environment enrichment program during its refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News.

Carl Vinson Religious Ministries Department and the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division have teamed up for an initiative called environment enrichment, a program that encourages Sailors to embrace "green" lifestyles and engage in earth-friendly practices - both on and off duty.

"Carl Vinson is already very active in community relations (COMREL) projects, but incorporating more environmentally-oriented projects will be even more beneficial for everyone," said Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Maja Dyson, the ship's COMREL coordinator.

"Not only will incorporating environmental care into the COMREL program be effective and rewarding for our Sailors, but it will also give them the education about our environment to spark their interest and inspire them to be environmentally aware."

The ship's environment enrichment initiative incorporates "green" activities into the ship's already robust community relations program. COMREL projects will focus on issues such as street and beach clean up, school visits by Sailors to encourage environmental awareness and assisting local community organizations.

Carl Vinson's program also promotes personal initiatives ouside normal working hours and encourages Sailors to participate in recycling while highlighting energy conservation programs that aims to reduce fossil-fuel consumption and air pollution through ride-sharing.

"The idea is to educate Sailors on how they can do their part to be more environmentally friendly in their everyday lifestyles, both on the job and at home," said Erin Saluta, Carl Vinson's MWR director. "If they train themselves to recycle and to depend less on certain energy sources, they won't believe how much they can help the environment."

Saluta said there are many options available for Sailors who want to do their part to promote a "green" lifestyles.

"There are dozens of environmental stewardship programs in the Hampton Roads area," said Saluta. "Our program will bring environmental concerns to the forefront, and hopefully other Sailors around the ship will take notice and participate in these efforts."

Saluta said that a crew aboard a large ship like Carl Vinson can make a big impact with their efforts for environmental stewardship.

"This new attitude the ship has adopted toward our environment is allowing more and more Sailors to take the initiative to participate in our programs," said Saluta. "Carl Vinson has one of the hardest working crews in the fleet, and looking out for the environment is just another way for the crew to show their professionalism as Sailors."

Carl Vinson is undergoing its scheduled 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 lifecycle.

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.

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