Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Gold Eagle Sailors Welcome 3rd Fleet Commander

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) maneuvers away from the pier to turn the ship around to enable operation of the ship's propellers and complete the next phase of the scheduled ship's refueling complex overhaul (RCOH). Carl Vinson is undergoing a scheduled RCOH at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Shen/Released)
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Philip Schrickel, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- As USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) prepares to become a 3rd Fleet asset, the commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet paid a visit to "Gold Eagle" and her crew April 29.

Vice Adm. Samuel J. Locklear was able to take a first-hand look at the pride, professionalism, and technical competence of Carl Vinson Sailors in addition to their effective and productive teamwork with Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding (NGSB).

Along with Locklear's visual update of the progress made by Carl Vinson and her crew during refueling complex overhaul (RCOH), an emphasis was put on the integration and cooperation between Gold Eagle, Supervisor of Shipbuilding and NGSB, which has directly contributed toward an under budget completion and delivery to the fleet.

"I am very proud of what you all have accomplished in the shipyards," said Locklear. "This place is unbelievable, it looks so much better than when I was aboard."

Locklear served aboard Carl Vinson as the electrical principal assistant early in his career after completing the Navy nuclear propulsion program.

During his visit, Locklear stopped and addressed Carl Vinson chiefs and officers in the ship's wardroom, answering questions and reassuring them of San Diego's eagerness to receive the Sailors and their families into their community.

"We are very flexible and adaptable at North Island," said Locklear. "San Diego awaits you at the end of the tunnel."

Toward the end of his visit to the aircraft carrier, Locklear took time to attend the enlisted surface warfare specialist and enlisted aviation warfare specialist pinning ceremony and address the awardees on a job well done.

"It was such an honor to have Vice Adm. Locklear attend our pinning ceremony," said Seaman (SW) Ryan Burns of Deck department's 1st division. "It made the accomplishment mean that much more."

Carl Vinson is completing its scheduled RCOH at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding at Newport News VA. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.

During RCOH, Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel has been replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and ready for another 25 years or more of service.