BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- "Ding-ding, ding-ding," sounds the bell on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). Sailors scurry to their respective spaces with hot coffee in hands. "Set Material Condition Hour (MCH)," bellows the Petty Officer of the Watch. John C. Stennis Sailors start the work day by digging out their foxtails and dust pans, but do they know the plan to conduct MCH?
MCH is more than just a quick sweep and swab of the deck. A set of clear day-to-day guidelines exist in Executive Officer (XO) Gram 9-17 Material Condition Hour.
For example, Monday focuses on those hard to reach areas and cleaning the decks with warm soapy water. Thursdays Sailors clean vents, filters, doors and hatches. The XO gram sets these daily guidelines to make sure John C. Stennis Sailors don't miss any spots in their spaces.
Furthermore, the XO gram states how Sailors should conduct traffic during MCH.
The starboard passageways secure on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The portside passageways secure on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This allows Sailors to deep clean their spaces without having traffic slowing the process.
However, major projects on highly transited areas like the 03 level and 2nd deck passageways have a different set of guidelines.
Major stripping, waxing or buffing on those levels takes place after taps or 30 minutes after flight operations until 0500 the next day.
The XO Gram exists to guide John C. Stennis on how to keep a high standard of material condition. It helps John C. Stennis Sailors conduct MCH in an orderly and effective manner.
Navy ships across the fleet participate in MCH to keep their ships clean and safe. MCH not only keeps the ship looking good, but contributes to damage control safety by eliminating hazards ranging from fire to electrical.
For more information, view XO Gram 9-17 Material Condition Hour in the command directives on the John C. Stennis homepage.
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