ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN 72) crew fully tested the aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) systems throughout the ship, May 9-10, to support shipboard airwing operations and damage control efforts, while underway for sea trials following a four-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH).
The combined efforts of Abraham Lincoln's air, weapons, and engineering departments ensured the ship would be ready for her upcoming carrier qualifications.
"To ensure the ship is at its full operational potential, we have to completely and thoroughly check the AFFF system," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Kevin Brewer, Abraham Lincoln's air department crash leading petty officer. "Although it is used as a last resort, AFFF is an integral part of having an operational ship that carries aircraft in case of an emergency."
AFFF is a fire-fighting system installed for smothering class "Bravo" fires on the ship. The system generates a vapor-blanketing foam on top of flammable fuels. AFFF is applied over the flammable surface and creates a vapor seal, depriving the fire of oxygen.
"You hope you never have to actually light off AFFF, but it does give our air department peace of mind knowing that we test these systems and make sure our Sailors can do their jobs safely," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Ashton Hemphill, an aircraft handler aboard.
The synthetic foam of AFFF is composed of four percent AFFF concentrate and 96 percent water.
"We also test to make sure the mixture is at a proper concentrate to properly fight fires," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hector Arroyo, Lincoln's air boatswain.
The next time the system will be tested is during a material inspection by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) team. INSURVs perform a thorough inspection of nearly every aspect of a Navy vessel, including material, maintenance and safety.
Abraham Lincoln departed Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia, May 8, after completing RCOH, a major lifecycle milestone. She returns to the fleet as one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in service and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense for an additional 25 years.
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