NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) reached a major milestone on Friday when the 0-10 level of the ship's island was installed during the carrier's on-going refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding.
The 66-ton 0-10 level structure houses radar, communication and other electronic equipment. During the ship's RCOH, most of the original structure and components from the 0-4 level and above are completely removed, reconfigured or strengthened to accommodate the ship's new mast.
The installation was accomplished using Northrop Grumman's 310-ton crane at drydock 11.
"The 0-10 level is the largest, heaviest structural unit moved by the shipyard for the ship," said Lt. Cmdr. Steven Hernandez, USS Theodore Roosevelt combat systems maintenance officer. "The 0-10 level is the foundation, the building block for the new and improved lower mast."
Capt. William J. Hart, USS Theodore Roosevelt commanding officer, said it is important for sailors to see the island take shape.
"The O-10 lift and placement represents a tangible inflection point; we are rebuilding this warship to take its place on the line," said Hart.
With the 0-10 level in place, workers can run cables, install ventilation, and lay foundations for the state-of the-art electrical equipment the ship's sailors will test and operate.
"When the island takes shape, you stop seeing the ship being taken apart, and you start to see the ship being rebuilt," said Hernandez.
On Sept. 30, the Theodore Roosevelt's Deck Removal Team members also reached a major milestone when they removed the 200,000th square foot of deck from the ship.
As part of the ship's RCOH, the team has been working on clearing nearly three and a half football fields' worth of deteriorated decks and tiles from spaces aboard the ship.
"If we can finish ahead of schedule it'll help other departments in their RCOH goals," said Ens. Sidney Jones, Deck Removal Team officer in charge. "Right now we're looking at finishing at least 8 months earlier than we were supposed to. I still think we can do it sooner than that."
Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (AW/SW) Matt Scarlato, Deck Removal Team leading chief petty officer, said the job is not only dangerous, but also physically demanding.
Sailors who belong to the Deck Removal Team must use heavy equipment, such as jackhammers and deck grinders, which can weigh up to 40 pounds, to remove the deck. Taking tile and deck out of one space can last about a day, and the discarded tile can take up anywhere from 75 to 150 full trash bags, said Scarlato.
"Until you start to tear up the tile, you don't know what's under it," he said. "Everyone thinks it's just one layer of tile, but there's usually a lot more to it."
The RCOH is an extensive yard period all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During its RCOH, which started on Aug. 29, 2009, the Theodore Roosevelt's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepared for another 25 years or more of service.
Launched in 1984 and delivered to the Navy in 1986, the USS Theodore Roosevelt is the fourth Nimitz-class carrier built at Newport News and is the fourth ship of the class to undergo the major life-cycle milestone of RCOH. The project is scheduled to last more than three years.
(Compiled from reports by Ens. Michael Larson, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Austin Rooney, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs)
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