Another step towards the completion of the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) was achieved May 18 when the covers for catapult one were installed on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
The installation of the covers lasted three days and was performed by Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS). Getting the four catapults back to an operational state is the current focus of Lincoln's Air Department.
"The biggest advantage to the covers being installed is that it gives our junior Sailors a chance to see what the catapults look like once they're back together," said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate Larry Pugh, V-2 division's maintenance chief. "We've been able to go up to the flight deck and actually have them put eyes on what we've been trying to explain to them."
The catapult covers on an aircraft carrier bridge the catapult trough to provide a smooth, continuous flight deck and provide support for the shuttle that launches aircraft. They also provide a channel for the grab that retrieves the shuttle after a launch.
With the catapult covers in the process of being installed, Lincoln's flight deck now has more space and a new look.
"The metal sheds covering the catapult were removed to facilitate the trough cover installation," Cmdr. Timothy Tippett, Lincoln's Air Boss said. "It is a visible change to the flight deck and it gives Lincoln the look of a true aircraft carrier rather than a ship under construction."
The catapult overhaul process started at the very beginning of the RCOH, and Lincoln is scheduled to start catapult testing this fall.
"With the covers being installed it is allowing NNS to perform critical alignment tests," Pugh said.
Lincoln's Air Department has already saved more than $8 million in man-hours and parts by recycling parts from the decommissioned USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) and removing and replacing old lagging on the ceiling of hangar bays 1, 2, and 3. These are just some examples of the hard work they have been putting in throughout the RCOH process.
"Air department has worked tirelessly to restore their spaces and equipment throughout the ship during this RCOH process," Tippett said. "They have dedicated themselves towards getting Lincoln out of the yards on time and their hard work is paying off and is not going unnoticed. I couldn't be more proud of my Sailors."
Lincoln is currently undergoing a RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News.
Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz-class to undergo an 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.
Source: US Navy
Date: May 27, 2015