Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) activities at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), an American Fortune 500 shipbuilding company formed on March 31, 2011 as a spin-off of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News (NGSB-NN).
(1 January to Sea Trials)
Crash, Salvage Crane Returns to Lincoln
“The crew aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) took a major step forward in its transition from Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) to redelivery to the fleet by welcoming the return of its aircraft crash and salvage crane on the flight deck on 19 January 2017.
The evolution was a joint effort between Lincoln's Air Department and Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department.
"[The cranes] presence on the flight deck symbolizes the transition from a yard ship to a war ship," said Abraham Lincoln's Maintenance Officer, Cmdr. Kevin Bittle.
Affectionately named "Tilly", the crane's move aboard is vital for any U.S. aircraft carrier to conduct flight operations. Its purpose is to provide support to the ship's crash and salvage team in the event of an aircraft or flight deck mechanical failure. Without a crash and salvage crane, aircraft are not allowed aboard the ship. Consequently, the ship would be unable to perform flight operations.
"Tilly is very high-profile, so I was a little nervous to be the first person to drive it on the ship," said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 2nd Class Toby Cook, a member of Abraham Lincoln's aircraft crash and salvage crew. "Having Tilly aboard gives me a sense of pride and ownership because that's what Sailors in my rate work on, and I am excited to be able to do that job."
Along with Tilly, an aircraft shell was brought aboard to conduct more realistic flight deck and firefighting drills, signifying further progress toward an operational flight deck.
"You only see Tilly and the dummy aircraft on operational aircraft carriers," said Capt. Ron Ravelo, Lincoln's commanding officer. "This is another example of our carrier coming back to life"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170123-03 - Release Date: 1/23/2017 8:40:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jessica Paulauskas, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Attend Cableway Class
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) attended the cableway improvement class at the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding Carrier Integration Center (VASCIC), in Newport News, Virginia from 30 January to 3 February 2017.
The goal of the training is to teach Lincoln Sailors to locate and correct cable discrepancies throughout the ship.
"Proper cableway is fundamental to getting the Lincoln out of the yards," said Marty Everett, consulting field engineer and retired interior communications electrician. "If cable is not installed properly, it's going to alter deadlines. That's why these Sailors are here to gain this knowledge and take it with them to the Production Management (PM) 17 team."
This training and certification provides students with the safety and knowledge to inspect ship cableways, and identify and correct discrepancies. Discrepancies covered during the course included the removal of dead-end cables, repair of wire way discrepancies, and the correction of all fire zone and watertight discrepancies.
"My favorite part of the course was the equipment that was brought into the classroom," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Marcus Brooks. "It helps to physically get my hands on what I'm going to be working on, so I'm glad that was a part of the curriculum."
The course provides more than 35 hours of lecture, video, hands-on lab work, and text-based assignments over a five-day period. A score of 70 percent or higher on the comprehensive exam is required for successful completion.
"The average cost for our civilian counterpart to attend this course is about $2,000, but Lincoln Sailors receive the training for free," said Machinist's Mate (Nuclear) 1st Class Daryl Church. "The information taught in class ultimately helps keep everyone and the ship safe"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170209-19 - Release Date: 2/9/2017 10:12:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Juan Cubano, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
CVN-72 CO Discusses Return to Fleet During All Hands Call
“Commanding officer aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), Capt. Ron Ravelo, held an All Hands Call with the crew on 3 March 2017, to discuss the ship's return to the fleet later this year.
This was the first-time since Abraham Lincoln entered RCOH in 2013 that an All Hands Call has been conducted aboard the ship.
"This is awesome," said Ravelo. "It has been a long time since you were all standing in formation in your own hangar bay on your own warship. This is one of the moments I have been waiting for."
Ravelo praised the efforts of Lincoln Sailors who are pushing through the final stages of a four-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) and preparing the ship for its upcoming Crew Certification (Crew Cert) Phase Three.
"We are making great progress and I know this crew will muster up and do what needs to be done," said Ravelo.
Crew certification is a process that transitions ships back to operational status after spending significant time in a shipyard environment.
Since January, Lincoln Sailors have been participating in general quarters drills and training to run repair lockers, learn how to fight fires, combat flooded spaces and provide basic first-aid. It's this kind of drill that the Afloat Training Group (ATG) grades the ship on for phase three.
"Damage control is our bread and butter. I've said it numerous times - all Sailors are firefighters and need to be able to defend the ship," said Ravelo. "If we take a missile in the side of the ship, we need to know that 30 minutes later we can turn it in to the wind and continue fighting"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170305-08 - Release Date: 3/5/2017 1:28:00 PM - By USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS)).
Command Assessment Team Gives Voice to Lincoln Sailors' Concerns
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) have the opportunity to effect change within their workcenters as well as command-wide by participating in monthly Command Assessment Team focus groups.
As Abraham Lincoln nears the completion of its refueling and complex overhaul, Sailors are tirelessly working to ready the ship for its return to the fleet.
In such a fast-paced environment, it can be easy to lose focus of everything but the work needed to be completed. That's where the Command Assessment Team (CAT) steps in- helping create a clear picture about issues and challenges Sailors face daily.
"The CAT collects data for the commanding officer on specific topics," explained Chief Hospital Corpsman Jennifer Avila, a command climate specialist. "Last month, the team focused on Sailors' issues with the Fitness Enhancement Program [FEP] and proper nutrition. Now, we are focusing on drug and alcohol issues as well as the non-judicial punishment process."
Each month, the team sends out a call for Sailors, E-6 to E-1, to participate in focus groups to address their concerns and make recommendations for improvements. While there are topics the groups cover, no issue is off limits for discussion.
"When we first started, a few of the Sailors were apprehensive because they were told to show up to the focus groups. They didn't know what exactly we did, until we explained our role." said Avila. "We work on their behalf to allow the CO to see their point of view. Now, we are seeing more participation."
The groups are conducted in an open-forum style so Sailors can feel discussing their issues without worrying about someone judging them, explained Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Ernst Clervil, a CAT facilitator.
The focus group CAT representatives write down anonymous statements and create lists of what issues are troubling Sailors as well as possible solutions. The list is then provided to commanding officer for review.
"When we talked to Sailors at the last focus group, they were concerned that their workload might affect their ability to stay fit," said Clervil. "When the CO saw this, there was a large push to help integrate nutrition information, workout programs and times in the day set aside to work on both."
The focus groups allow the voice of junior Sailors to be heard by the upper chain of command.
"Commands without a Command Climate evaluation system are destined to fail because they do not know what is on the mind of their Sailors or what they are dealing with," said Salas. "Of course, commands conduct a yearly command survey, but aboard the Lincoln, we want to be proactive and address issues."
Ultimately, the job of the CAT comes down to improving the lives of Lincoln Sailors by promoting awareness about Sailors' concerns to the chain of command. Whether you have concerns about awards and recognition or fitness and nutrition, the CAT wants to know.
"I really believe in this program because it allows the Sailors to give their voice and feel like their needs matter," said Avila.
Allowing the Sailors' voice to be heard and coming together as a team to effect change is what makes a true difference. Focus groups are announced monthly and Sailors are encouraged to come share their thoughts. It could be your one response that makes all the difference” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170417-28 - Release Date: 4/17/2017 12:42:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aaron Kiser USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Completes Crew Cert III
“Members from Afloat Training Group (ATG) Atlantic assessed the crew of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) from 18 to 19 April 2017, as part of the Phase III Crew Certification process, a mandatory assessment of the watch stander's ability to take the ship to sea and deal with different emergencies in a non-warfighting scenario, explained Lt. Cmdr. Paul Henderson, Lincoln's training officer. "Crew Cert III ensures that our Sailors are certified to operate safely in areas of navigation, seamanship, damage control and medical response," said Henderson.
Through a series of drills spanning from safety to firefighting, ATG got a clearer picture of how Lincoln Sailors would respond during actual casualties. "The training liaison officer from ATG doesn't say the words 'very impressed' without meaning them," said Henderson. "The crew gave an excellent overall impression and that word was passed to the captain, perspective commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief."
In preparation for the evaluation, Lincoln Sailors trained for months in many areas, including damage control, emergency medical response procedures, Ships Nautical or Otherwise Photographic Interpretation and Examination (SNOOPIE), and other warfare areas, not just to pass a test, but because their lives may depend on these vital skills.
"The crew prepared with general quarters, man overboard drills, Friday morning training sessions and overnight training fast cruises," said Henderson. "In addition, the crew completed online level of knowledge exams to ensure a basic level of knowledge among all crew members that would allow them to receive effective training."
Responsibility and ownership are critical for every Sailor aboard a ship. According to Yeoman 3rd Class Victor Munoz, sometimes it means stepping outside traditional ratings roles. "Normally I work from my office doing administration tasks for the crew," said Munoz. "As a repair locker investigator, when a casualty is called, I am the first response to figure out how to contain fire and flooding." According to Henderson, it's this level of dedication to training and professionalism that led to the successful completion of Crew Certification Phase III.
"In my opinion our crew rose to the challenge like I knew they could, and I am thrilled they received recognition to honor all the long days and hard work they've put in over the last four months. Next, we will be expected to perform more complex scenarios and tackle simultaneous casualties. We are excited for the next steps to ready our ship for its return to sea, and plan to make continuous improvement"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170424-18 - Release Date: 4/24/2017 11:55:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist Aaron Kiser, NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS)).
USS Abraham Lincoln Completes Final Fast Cruise Before Redelivery
“USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) spent the final days of its four-year Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) completing its official "Fast Cruise" from 2 to 7 May 2017, in preparation for the ship's long-awaited return to the fleet this month.
The fast cruise was Lincoln's last training simulation before departing Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. The purpose of the Fast Cruise was to have the full focus of Lincoln's crew on training, drills and ship-wide evolutions designed to allow Lincoln and her crew to build the confidence and proficiency to return to sea.
"The Fast Cruise helped us to solidify team work and processes within our damage control, engineering and medical response teams as well as identify and repair any defects within our operating systems," said Lincoln's training officer, Lt. Cmdr. Paul Henderson. "Our ship is ready to return to the fleet, but what is even more imperative is that our Sailors are ready to get underway and respond to casualties to protect our ship and our crew."
Since February, the crew has been simulating various underway emergency scenarios to include general quarters, man overboard, abandon ship, propulsion plant casualty drills and fire drills all focused on ensuring Lincoln Sailors are performing as an operational team before returning to the fleet.
"The training scenarios and ship-wide drills we've executed these last few months are skills that Sailors can lose when faced with such a long RCOH period," said Command Master Chief James Stedding. "Being in the shipyards and not being Sailors at sea, required us to be more focused and diligent about training. The excellent response we've seen from all training teams and the ship has proved we are ready to be both firefighters and warfighters at sea."
The various simulations have allowed Sailors a more hands-on experience to familiarize themselves with their underway responsibilities, take ownership of their spaces and equipment and continue to increase shipboard knowledge and damage control effectiveness” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170508-32 - Release Date: 5/8/2017 12:18:00 PM - From CVN 72 Public Affairs - NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS)).
170509-N-UX312-156 - JAMES RIVER, Va. (May 9, 2017) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) departs Newport News, Va., under its own power for the first time after successfully completing its mid-life refueling and complex overhaul. Abraham Lincoln will spend several days conducting sea trials, which will test many of the ship's key systems and technologies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Herbst/Released)
USS Abraham Lincoln Underway for Sea Trials
“USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) got underway for Sea Trails on 9 May 2017 following a four-year Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia.
The four-day Sea Trails marks Abraham Lincoln's first time underway since March 2013. The ship spent its last days in the shipyard completing a five-day "Fast Cruise," from 2 to 7 May 2017, making final preparations for its transit to Naval Station Norfolk.
"We are looking forward to taking the ship out on the open water where we belong," said Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, Lincoln's executive officer. "I am honored to serve with our crew. This dedicated and impressive group put an incredible amount of work into revitalizing this ship. We are grateful for their efforts and to our partners at Newport News Shipbuilding, and eagerly anticipate completing successful sea trials and returning to the fleet ready for tasking later this year."
During Sea Trials, the Abraham Lincoln crew will undergo multiple training scenarios and qualification evolutions to include engineering maneuvers designed to evaluate the performance of the ship after the extensive maintenance period.
"Our team has worked hard to get USS Abraham Lincoln ready to redeliver to the fleet," said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers. "She has undergone significant combat systems modernization and will also be the first CVN capable of accommodating the F-35C Lightning II. This RCOH enabled the ship to meet future missions and continued service life requirements for many years to come."
During RCOH, more than 2.5 million man-hours of work were conducted aboard the ship, including refueling the reactors, upgrading ship's infrastructure and modernizing combat systems and air wing capabilities to increase combat effectiveness” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170509-18 - Release Date: 5/9/2017 1:30:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mark Logico, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
100115-N-1261P-029 - PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 15, 2010) Sailors scrub the hangar bay for an aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) testing wash down aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). Abraham Lincoln is conducting sea trials following a nine-month Planned Incremental Availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric S. Powell/Released) http://www.navy.mil/view_imagex.asp?id=80008&t=1
Abraham Lincoln Tests AFFF
“USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN-72) crew fully tested the aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) systems throughout the ship from 9 to 10 May 2017, to support shipboard airwing operations and damage control efforts, while underway for Sea Trials following a four-year Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH).
The combined efforts of Abraham Lincoln's Air, Weapons, and Engineering Departments ensured the ship would be ready for her upcoming carrier qualifications.
"To ensure the ship is at its full operational potential, we have to completely and thoroughly check the AFFF system," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Kevin Brewer, Abraham Lincoln's Air Department crash leading petty officer. "Although it is used as a last resort, AFFF is an integral part of having an operational ship that carries aircraft in case of an emergency."
AFFF is a fire-fighting system installed for smothering class "Bravo" fires on the ship. The system generates a vapor-blanketing foam on top of flammable fuels. AFFF is applied over the flammable surface and creates a vapor seal, depriving the fire of oxygen.
"You hope you never have to actually light off AFFF, but it does give our air department peace of mind knowing that we test these systems and make sure our Sailors can do their jobs safely," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Ashton Hemphill, an aircraft handler aboard.
The synthetic foam of AFFF is composed of four percent AFFF concentrate and 96 percent water.
"We also test to make sure the mixture is at a proper concentrate to properly fight fires," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hector Arroyo, Lincoln's air boatswain.
The next time the system will be tested is during a material inspection by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) team. INSURVs perform a thorough inspection of nearly every aspect of a Navy vessel, including material, maintenance and safety.
Abraham Lincoln departed Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia, on 8 May 2017, after completing RCOH, a major lifecycle milestone. She returns to the fleet as one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in service and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense for an additional 25 years” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170508-32 - Release Date: 5/8/2017 12:18:00 PM - From CVN 72 Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS)).
Huntington Ingalls Industries Redelivers Aircraft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to U.S. Navy
“Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) announced today that the company has redelivered the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) to the U.S. Navy. The redelivery took place following successful Sea Trials that tested the ship's systems following its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.
"The successful completion of sea trials and redelivery of the ship to the Navy is the culmination of over 48 months of teamwork between Newport News shipbuilders, the CVN-72 crew, our government partners and all of our suppliers," said Chris Miner, Newport News' vice president, in-service aircraft carrier programs. "The completion of the refueling and complex overhaul returns a fully recapitalized ship to the fleet, ready to support any mission and serve our nation for another 25 years."
A video and photo accompanying this release are available at: http://newsroom.huntingtoningalls.com/releases/aircraft-carrier-uss-abraham-lincoln-redelivered-usnavy.
Sea Trials test the carrier's systems and operations at sea, including high-speed operations. The trials team, comprising sailors, shipbuilders and government representatives, puts the ship through a series of tests designed to prove system performance and demonstrate all the carrier's capabilities at sea.
"Every sailor, shipyard worker and contractor involved with RCOH and redelivery should be standing tall as we bring this mighty warship back home to Norfolk and put her back into service for the U.S. Navy," said Capt. Ronald Ravelo, Lincoln's commanding officer. "Getting Lincoln back into the fight was truly an all-hands effort, and I could not be more proud of the crew who helped make that happen."
The RCOH process is performed only once during the ship's 50-year lifetime and involves upgrades to nearly every space and system on the ship. Tanks, the hull, shafting, propellers, rudders, piping, ventilation, electrical, combat and aviation support systems were repaired, upgraded and modernized. Work also included defueling and refueling the ship's two nuclear reactors and repairs and upgrades to the propulsion plant.
Newport News is the only shipyard with the skilled workforce and facilities equipped for this four-year project, which was described in a 2002 Rand Study as one of the most challenging and highly industrial tasks undertaken by any organization. The fifth Nimitz-class carrier to undergo an RCOH, Lincoln has had as many as 4,000 shipbuilders assigned to her at peak manning periods.
The next carrier in line for its RCOH is USS George Washington(CVN-73). Preparations are underway at Naval Station Norfolk, and the ship is scheduled to arrive at Newport News this summer.
Huntington Ingalls Industries is America's largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII's Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII's Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Missions Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 37,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.
For more information, visit:
HII on the web: www.huntingtoningalls.com
HII on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HuntingtonIngallsIndustries
HII on Twitter: twitter.com/hiindustries” (Ref Christie Miller - Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. - By GlobeNewswire, May 12, 2017, 02:57:00 PM EDT).