Vinson Sailors Continue Partnership with Institute of Government

Story Number: NNS081031-08Release Date: 10/31/2008 6:14:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristan Robertson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

ATHENS, Ga. (NNS) -- Crew members assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) accompanied the ship's executive officer and command master chief Oct. 23-24, to learn more of the life and legacy of the aircraft carrier's late namesake, Carl Vinson, in Athens, Ga.

Each year, Carl Vinson Sailors visit the Carl Vinson Institute of Government located at the University of Georgia (UGA) and the former Georgia congressman's hometown of Milledgeville.

During their visit, "Gold Eagle" Sailors met with leadership figures from the institute, while also taking the opportunity to meet with the UGA gymnastics team and football coach.

"We were able to explore each other's service to the country while delving into topics of history and leadership, and it proved to be a great opportunity for our Sailors to interact with academic and athletic leaders of such a large university," said Capt. Steve Koehler, Vinson's executive officer.

While in Milledgeville, the Sailors conversed with the mayor and city manager, while hearing actual stories from an acquaintance of Carl Vinson. Afterward, they received a police escort to the Georgia Military College where Vinson was once a student. From there, they ventured to his two former homes and paid their respects at his final resting place.

"It's nice to meet people and hear stories about the person our ship is named after," said Chief Navy Counselor (AW/SW) Jeffrey Sabia. "You have to do something extraordinary to have your name given to a ship, and after learning about Carl Vinson, you really begin to understand how extraordinary he was."

Known as "the father of the two-coast Navy," Vinson urged Congress to build more ships when many felt it wasn't a priority. His perseverance and dedication to building a stronger fleet continues to benefit America and its Sailors around the world every day.

"Carl Vinson was an advocate for the Navy and its mission," said Sabia. "He was a true patriot."

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.

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 (CVN 70), visit

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