NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Quality leadership is crucial to the proper functioning of any organization. With the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) currently undergoing refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipyard, command leadership aims to deliver the ship back to active service as safely and quickly as possible.
Capt. Daryle Cardone, the executive officer (XO) of George Washington, plays an instrumental role in accomplishing this mission.
“Escorting the ship back into the water and seeing her deploy on time – that’s what showing up here every day is about,” said Cardone.
The RCOH process in Newport News Shipyard is a vastly different experience than serving on an operational aircraft carrier.
“The ship is not in the water and every other carrier I’ve been aboard has been floating, so there is much here that is unfamiliar and unnatural to us as Sailors,” said Cardone. “Who would’ve thought when they raised their right hand to serve at sea that they would end up here in a shipyard?”
Even though RCOH may not be what Sailors expected as part of their naval service, returning a carrier to active service is a vitally important role.
“Take comfort and pride in the idea that what they are doing on a daily basis is what the Navy and the nation has asked and expects of us,” said Cardone. “Every pump we refurbish, every watertight door we replace, every deck we re-do, every piece of lagging we put back on, day-by-day, we are bringing the ship back to life.”
With the task of overhauling one of the largest warships in the world, George Washington Sailors have a daunting task ahead of them. However, the crew has come together to accomplish the task, even performing jobs outside their rating specialty.
“What impresses me about the crew is that every Sailor shows up here taking the job that they are given, which isn’t necessarily the one they expected when assigned to an aircraft carrier, and comes across the brow and rolls up their sleeves and gets after it,” said Cardone.
Shifting an aircraft carrier to Newport News for the four-year-long RCOH process is a monumental undertaking, and completing the maintenance necessary for the ship to return to open ocean steaming is of vital importance to all involved.
“I also know that the American people, and the rest of the Navy quite frankly, are counting on us to show up here and do the hard work every day because that’s going to let this ship redeploy successfully,” said Cardone.
With such an important task, it’s crucial that the ship’s crew stay motivated. In this regard, the XO serves as an example for Sailors to follow.
“What’s motivating me in the morning is the opportunity to show up here and to do the hard work," said Cardone. “I want to show up here doing my part every day, ensuring that we stay on task, and long after the three of us (the command leadership triad) transfer, we see her put back in the water and back out toward the 7th Fleet. That’s what it’s all about.”
The XO puts emphasis on the significance of the crew taking ownership of the ship each and every day.
“Ownership is important because it places us at the center of not just problems, but the solutions,” said Cardone. “We should have the mindset that this ship is ours and we’re here to be the best stewards of the ship as we can for the time that we’re assigned here.”
Cardone, and leaders like him, play a central role in the continued advancement of the ship’s mission, ensuring the successful and timely completion of RCOH and the ship’s return to service.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.