NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) damage control team are working hard to restore the aircraft carrier's repair lockers to operational readiness as the ship enters the final phases of its refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) in Newport News, Va.
Repair lockers contain equipment used for combating shipboard casualties; such as pipe-patching, de-watering, de-smoking and electrical kits, firefighting equipment, collapsible hoses, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) tanks.
"Now that the lockers have been fully outfitted, they are being groomed by our damage control teams to ensure all the equipment is ready to go, since a casualty can happen at anytime," said Chief Damage Controlman (SW) Matthew Brenner, the leading chief petty officer of the ship's damage control division. "Even though we are in the shipyard, problems can still occur, and we have to be prepared to act quickly and efficiently."
Damage control personnel have been busy conducting locker inventories including filling SCBA tanks with proper levels of oxygen, completing nearly all the repair lockers in the aft section of the ship.
"We want to make sure that there isn't any one thing missing or improperly stocked that could hinder someone from correctly or safely handling an emergency situation," said Damage Controlman Fireman Andrew Smetana. "Damage control is the entire ship's responsibility, but it's our responsibility to make sure everything is ready to go in these repair lockers."
With the ship inching closer to sea trials, Brenner said he is happy with the progress of the repair lockers and the hard work of his damage control team.
"We're steadily making our way through the process, getting through minor obstacles, but I am proud of the Carl Vinson damage controlmen and the work they are doing to restore a vital piece of this ship," said Brenner. "These Sailors are working very diligently and they're hard work is paying off."
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 www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.