NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Sailors are trained to be "always ready." It's a motto we learn from the very first days in training. While the saying "always ready" applies to all Sailors, it holds to be especially true in the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington's (CVN 73) Supply department's S-11 division.
"S-11's primary mission is to maintain all chief-owned spaces throughout the ship," said Ship's Serviceman 2nd Class Tyler Grabow, S-11's leading petty officer. "We make sure they're always ready and that the cleanliness and the availability of all their rooms are at 100 percent."
On an operational ship, the S-11 division would maintain the occupied spaces they own, such as crew living spaces, wash rooms and the chief's dining mess. However, during George Washington's Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) maintenance period, S-11 must maintain spaces that are being completely renovated and highly trafficked by shipyard workers.
"In the yards, we have to especially make sure the rooms are always ready, so when we depart the shipyards they can be all set to go," said Grabow.
To maintain their spaces, the division continuously conducts inspections. They own about 60 spaces throughout the ship in various locations.
"We are responsible for all 2nd and 3rd deck and 03 level S-11 spaces on the ship," said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Adoni Hughes, a food service attendant temporarily assigned to the chief's mess.
"S-11 is definitely on the ship a lot during RCOH, unlike most other departments that work on the floating accommodation facility (FAF)," said Grabow.
Before George Washington entered RCOH, the Sailors in this division would also serve food in the chief's mess. However, with the overhaul of every space on the ship, all Sailors currently dine on the FAF mess decks. This leaves the S-11 division primarily working to ensure their compartments stay up to date.
Hughes said the division's main responsibilities could be summed up in two words: maintenance and cleaning. Although that description may seem mundane to some, their work is highly valued by those who benefit from it.
"It's important because living situations could definitely determine whether somebody comes to work happy or comes to work upset," said Grabow. "Being able to go and stay in a clean, safe environment is very important."
S-11 continues to do their part in George Washington's RCOH period to make sure the ship is fully ready to return to the fleet upon departure from the shipyards.
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