August 6, 2020 – Many departments and teams aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) have assisted in the ship’s pre- Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) progress.
The ship’s weapons department corrosion team and the Corrosion Control Assistance Team (CCAT) from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division’s Corrosion and Coating Engineering Branch worked together to complete the preservation of lower stage weapons elevator (LSWE) 3 on June 22.
“The strength in numbers made this task much more efficient,” said Lt. Bryan Silva, a division officer for the ship’s weapons department. “The goal was to safely preserve the elevator pit and set a new standard for carrier elevator preservation and maintenance.”
With instruction and guidance from CCAT, the weapons department utilized multiple techniques in order to execute a successful preservation of LSWE-3.
“The weapons department conducted removal of rust and damaged coatings using needle guns, deck grinders and abrasive pads as well as applied all coats of paint,” said Silva. “CCAT provided training, oversight, and guidance at each step and ensured that all personnel understood the process to achieve first time quality.”
The corrosion prevention on LSWE-3 will allow weapons department to approach all other weapons elevators with the training and experience provided by this first evolution. Preserving the elevator now will allow it to be used during the RCOH process and ensure that the John C. Stennis gets back into the fight, on budget and on schedule.
“All weapons elevators are important in regards to their functionality, accessibility and usage throughout the ship,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lawrence Schaffer, the ship’s ordnance handling officer. “LSWE-3 was the first elevator pit where the training and understanding the scope of corrosion prevention started for our team. Completing LSWE-3 pit corrosion prevention saves time and critical man hours that could impact RCOH timelines and delivery schedules.”
CCAT is a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Ship Integrity and Performance Engineering Group (SEA 05P) program funded by the Painting Center of Excellence (PCoE) with the tasking to provide corrosion control Training, Technical assistance and Tools, and to facilitate the Transition of new technology (known as the 4T’s) to Sailors aboard U.S. Navy ships for corrosion control maintenance projects. CCAT provides support in nine locations including Norfolk, Little Creek, Va., Mayport, Fl., Rota, Spain, San Diego/North Island, Everett/Bremerton, Wa., Pearl Harbor, Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan.
Jim Wigle has been leading the CCAT program within NSWC Carderock Division’s Corrosion and Coatings Engineering Branch as the in-service engineering agent at Carderock since 2010 and is supported by a project engineer, Brittany Preston-Baker, and a Contracting Officers Representative, Connie Hall.
Wigle said the team’s goal is to train the Sailor to maintain their ship, which obviously is subject to severe weather and ocean environments, and these conditions lead to corrosion and therefore metal loss, if not properly controlled.
“The Sailors are doing the work; our guys are providing the technical assistance, training and support that’s required to do it right, and new technology,” Wigle said. “It’s basically a ship self-help program.”
COVID 19 has not slowed down the support provided by CCAT. While additional measures have been implemented to promote both CCAT and Sailor safety, successful efforts like Stennis have continued to be executed across all of our locations. All members of the CCAT teams wear masks when performing duties, training is conducted topside and in groups of ten or fewer, the CCAT team members maintain social distance when providing over the shoulder training, tools are sanitized prior to lending to the ships and they maintain active communication with ships in order to participate in contact tracing. In FY19, CCAT serviced 274 ship availabilities supporting ships force efforts to preserve over 605,000sqft. CCAT is on track to support a similar level of effort by the fleet in FY20. Ultimately, CCAT improves material readiness, total ownership costs and self-sufficiency.