NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) began moving tanks of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) on board the ship Jan. 14, achieving another key milestone in moving the ship out of refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH).
AFFF is an extinguishing agent used for fire suppression. AFFF provides a layer of foam which prevents the escape of fuel vapors and excludes oxygen from fuel source while providing limiting cooling effect. AFFF is the primary firefighting agent used in combating petroleum fires, also known as Class B fires.
Moving AFFF on board is an important step to increasing the ship's readiness, and the Sailors assigned to Abraham Lincoln's Engineering Department set aside time before the evolution to ensure that the on load went as planned.
"Prior to the evolution, we had Sailors conduct an analysis on all 10,000 gallons of the AFFF in storage at the DC warehouse," said Damage Controlman 1st Class Kent Crouch, the team leader. "Basically, the purpose of this analysis is to check for water or other contaminants in the AFFF concentrate. If there are contaminants in the concentrate, then the AFFF is unsatisfactory."
AFFF is an integral part of shipboard firefighting, and is the main firefighting agent aboard Abraham Lincoln.
Crouch explained the importance of restoring firefighting capabilities aboard the ship.
"Our main goal for this evolution is to prepare the sprinklers and a couple stations," Crouch said. "Also to bring the fire systems for our main spaces back to life."
Damage Controlman 3rd Class Anthony J. Nobel, a safety observer for the evolution, had only positive things to say about the ship's progress through the RCOH.
"As far as top side production is concerned, we're about 20 percent ahead of schedule, and this evolution is pushing us along even further," Nobel said. "This is just the first step, and we have no plans of slowing down."
Abraham Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News.
Abraham Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo an RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, the ship will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a strategic asset in the nation's defense.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.