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Sailors Assigned to Lincoln's Air Department Save Navy $4.6 Million

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits through the Pacific Ocean in 2011. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adam Randolph

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN 72) Air Department have performed a variety of tasks during the ship's Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) in Newport News to return the Abraham Lincoln to sea under budget and on time.

Having already removed old lagging material from the ceiling of hangar bays 1, 2 and 3, Air Department is in the process of installing new materials which has a direct savings of more than $4.6 million in man hour costs. 

This installation process began just prior to Lincoln's upcoming two-year anniversary of its arrival into Newport News Shipbuilding. Lincoln arrived at the shipyard on March 28, 2013.

"Tearing down and replacing the lagging in the hangar bays is a huge task that V-3 division of Air Department is tackling head-on," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Joseph Dennison, V-3 division's leading petty officer. "It is a job that our Sailors are learning on the fly, but they are doing incredible work and keeping a great attitude while doing it."

Air Department consists of five divisions and more than 460 Sailors. Air Department's mission moving forward is to get all of their personnel trained as professional Sailors and complete maintenance and repairs necessary to prepare for crew move-aboard.

"The Sailors in Air Department have always had a great work ethic and a positive outlook towards being in the yards," said Lt. Jonathan Kindel, Air Department's V-4 division officer. "The work they do isn't the most glamorous or rewarding, but they always manage to keep a great attitude while doing quality work."

Dennison echoed Kindel's assessment of Sailors assigned to Air Department and is proud of the work they are performing to return Lincoln to sea. "I am very proud to be part of Air Department aboard Lincoln," Dennison said, "They are a big reason we have the best warship in the Navy."

During RCOH Sailors assigned to Air Department are responsible for rebuilding Lincoln, but also stay focused on eventually returning to sea. 

"We are taking a ship that is 25 years old and working with Newport News Shipbuilding to build a ship that will last 25 more years," said Kindel. 

"When we leave the yards, things will pick up and it's important to be ahead of the curve and have our personnel trained and ready for what lies ahead."

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Navy Aircraft Carriers