ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (CVN 65) (Big E) entered the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard Sept. 3 for a scheduled Extended Selected Restricted Availability (ESRA).
Enterprise Command Master Chief (SS/SW) Robin Spelman said the ESRA period requires the concentration of all hands to get the job done well and on time.
"Before major work begins, we want to maintain our standards of cleanliness," said Spelman. "We also want to make sure we keep a level of training and readiness. The most important thing is that we get through ESRA with no major accidents."
A positive attitude and flexibility will be key factors in ensuring the ESRA period goes smoothly, said Spelman. In addition, Spelman is working with the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division to ensure Sailors have ample opportunities to relax in a positive way in their off time.
"There's a lot of positives in the yards," said Spelman. "MWR is working toward organizing trips over the weekends to help Sailors relieve some of the stress that can build. I suggest everyone take advantage of what they have to offer."
Spelman stressed the importance of working together.
"We must all endeavor to persevere," Spelman said. "We want to make sure we're getting enough rest at the end of the day. We'll get through this ESRA by thinking like shipmates, being aware of our personal protective equipment, and being positive about the experience."
Lt. Cmdr. Bill Chambers, the ship's maintenance officer and ESRA coordinator, echoed those sentiments, reminding the crew of the importance of thinking and being safe every day.
"This is a dusty, dirty, dangerous line of work," said Chambers. "We want to maximize our awareness on and off the ship."
USS Enterprise returned from sea in late July, after spending two months in the North Atlantic in support of Exercise Summer Pulse '04, the Navy's first test of the Fleet Response Plan.
Big E is scheduled to be in Northrop Grumman Newport News until mid-summer of 2005.
For related news, visit the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn65.