AT SEA (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) received specialized training from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) workers at sea March 23.
PSNS workers are underway aboard George Washington following the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan March 11.
George Washington left Yokosuka, Japan March 21 as a precautionary measure to ensure sustained readiness in support of Japan.
"As conditions at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant deteriorated, it was crucial that we brought the skilled workers along with us to sea," said Capt. Kenneth Reynard, executive officer aboard George Washington.
"Over this maintenance period they have become our extended family and are now assisting us with upkeep and operational readiness while at sea," he said.
George Washington's 10-day turnaround from homeport maintenance to underway is an unprecedented accomplishment, Capt. David A. Lausman , George Washington commanding officer.
The combined crew of Sailors and civilians is a golden opportunity, he said.
"These civilian shipyard workers bring to George Washington a lifetime of experience. While we are underway, we're taking full advantage of this unusual situation so our stellar Sailors can be even better at their jobs tomorrow, " said Lausman.
At sea, PSNS workers immediately began putting their years of experience and skills to use.
"I've really enjoyed passing down my knowledge to these young Sailors-they're like sponges. I'm happy to also be learning from them, too," said Jeff Messner, a PSNS machinery foreman.
"We've taught them new ways of using their equipment and some of their tools that'll make their lives easier from now on," he said.
PSNS workers and Sailors are working alongside each other; proving routine maintenance doesn't always have to take place in port.
"The PSNS guys are doing a great job assisting my crew with backed-up jobs that once cleared, would help make this ship a more enjoyable place," said Chief Machinery Repairman Robert Working.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.