By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Matthew DeWitt, USS Carl Vinson
A team from Northrop Grumman Newport News reinstalled USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) arresting gear engines into the ship's flight deck, June 6.
The arresting gear engines were placed onto the ship's flight deck via cranes
at the ship’s new location at Pier 3, completing another major milestone for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier during its Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard.
“This has been a total team effort,” said Gray Milteer, aircraft launch and recovery equipment superintendent for Northrop Grumman Newport News. “These are the largest arresting gear components we’ve installed to date, and every trades department has supported this project over the past 18 months. Their hard work, commitment and teamwork with the Vinson crew have contributed to the successful installation today.”
For crew members from Carl Vinson, the installation of the aircraft carrier's arresting gear engines was one major step in returning the ship back to operational status.
"We’re doing our part to transition USS Carl Vinson from an industrial environment we have here in the shipyard, back to an operational carrier,” said Cmdr. Michael Whetstone, Carl Vinson’s air boss.
“The arresting gear engine installation is the first milestone for the ship’s new flight deck. By next year, USS Carl Vinson will look much more like a carrier ready to host aircraft once again.”
With careful and methodical planning by project supervisors from Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard and Carl Vinson leadership
, Team Carl Vinson was able to coordinate the installation of two arresting gear engines during one evolution.
“This coordination is a result of the teamwork we have with Northrop Grumman Newport News,” said Whetstone. “This is a cost-saving measure for the Navy.”
Now that the arresting gear engines are installed, members of Carl Vinson's air department will be working side-by-side with their counterparts from the shipyard to test the new equipment and bring it up to operational status, a feat that will take a continued and dedicated effort by the entire Team Carl Vinson.
“USS Carl Vinson’s arresting gear engines have been at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst for refurbishment for almost 18 months,” said Lt. Wendy Nowak, Carl Vinson’s V-2 division officer. “Our team will start work on the engines now, but much of the crew’s contributions will start in the summer of 2008.”
Arresting gear engines are the first in a planned installation and refurbishing of USS Carl Vinson's flight deck equipment. When completed near the end of RCOH, USS Carl Vinson’s flight deck will again be a centerpiece for naval aviation as an operational aircraft carrier providing 25 more years of service to the fleet.
USS Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled RCOH, the extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the midpoint of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH Carl Vinson’s nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship’s services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.