NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The overhead rehabilitation team aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is playing a large role in helping the ship meet its next big Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) goal of Crew Move Aboard (CMA), set to begin May 20, by helping to refurbish the three hangar bay overheads.
There are more than 96,500 square feet of overhead to rehab in the hangar bays, and on average only 13 Sailors assigned to the overhead team to do the work. These Sailors spend long hours needle gunning, sanding, priming and painting in order to get the ship ready for the crew to move onboard.
"It is hard work," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class (AW) Jose Torres, the overhead rehabilitation team leading petty officer. "It's not like working on decks or bulkheads; you're working all day lifting this equipment above your head."
The overhead rehab team's goal is to complete work in the hanger bays near the completion of crew move aboard this fall. The current status is: hangar bay 3 at 90 percent, hangar bay 2 at 50 percent and hangar bay 1 at 15 percent.
"You want a clean hangar bay, and the overhead is a big part of that," said Torres. "When you walk onto the ship the hangar bay is the first thing you see, so we want to get this done to help morale."
Many civilians work on the overheads as well, but the core of the work is done by the Sailors on the rehab team. With so much square footage to sand, needle gun, prime and paint, the team goes through a large amount of supplies to get the job done.
"It's hard work, but we have a really motivated team up here," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Amber Moe, who has been on the rehab team since June 2011. "It feels good to take part in such a big job and really see the progress."
The commanding officer and executive officer visit the hangar bays from time to time, which helps show the team how important their job is, said Torres. The team's leadership and the ship's chain of command work hard to ensure the team is well-equipped to do their job.
"This team is full of hard workers. My team has the best Sailors on the ship, and they take pride in their work. You don't have to tell them what to do or when to do it, if there is work to do they just do it," said Torres.
Theodore Roosevelt is currently undergoing its scheduled mid-life Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. During the 39-month maintenance period, TR's fuel will be replenished and significant upgrades will be made to the ship's combat and communication systems to extend the ship's service life for 25 or more years. All Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through RCOH near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
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