|Newport News Shipbuilding|
Newport News October 15, 2015 - Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) V-2 division teamed with shipbuilders from Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) to lower power cylinders into catapult one on Lincoln's flight deck in Newport News, Oct. 7.
This is just the most recent milestone Lincoln has reached during its Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH).
"Lowering the launching cylinders is a huge milestone in bringing the catapult back on line," said Chief Warrant Officer Casey Nalley, the aviation launch recovery equipment boatswain aboard Lincoln. "All four catapults were completely overhauled, including the replacement of 112 tons of trough structure and the peening [reshaping] of each individual cylinder."
According to Nalley, there are two rows of launching engine cylinders aligned in parallel in the catapult trough. The cylinders contain the launching engine pistons and provide an overall length of 325 feet. Each cylinder is twenty-one inches in diameter. The evolution took the effort of practically the entire division.
Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Angelique Truex, V-2's leading chief petty officer, was impressed by the work and attitude of her Sailors during the evolution.
"About 30 Sailors had to be in-sync to lower the cylinder successfully," Truex said. "Everyone was pretty excited to see the catapult being put together. Most of these Sailors are brand new, so it's good for them to see what they actually joined the Navy to do."
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Airman Apprentice Tyleek Harris, assigned to Lincoln's V-2 division, was excited to take part in the evolution, knowing the impact it has on Lincoln completing RCOH and getting back to the fleet.
"There's still a lot of work to be done," Harris said. "This is a huge step in bringing Lincoln back to a functional warship, and it feels good to be part of it."
Capt. Ron Ravelo, commanding officer aboard Lincoln, is happy with the work that has been accomplished, but wants his Sailors to continue to push through the RCOH period, and redeliver Lincoln to the fleet.
"This is the first in many steps to bringing the flight deck back to life," Ravelo said. "What air department has accomplished is definitely a highlight of this entire project. Working with NNS we have done a tremendous amount of work up [on the flight deck] and achieved a tremendous amount of success in maintaining our timeline."
Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Va.
Lincoln is the fifth Nimitz-class ship to undergo RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet, and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.