BY: LS3 WENDY ESCALANTE, SCOOP QA TEAM
After seven years forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is transitioning into its midlife refueling complex overhaul (RCOH). RCOH runs for approximately four years and contains 35 percent of the ship’s total life cycle maintenance.
The CVN 73 supply department was responsible for setting the stage for RCOH by driving the Ship’s Coordinated Offload and Outfitting Plan (SCOOP), a scheduled 55-day offload of 2,394 spaces. “Our primary goal for SCOOP is the safe and accountable offload of material,” according to George Washington Supply Officer Cmdr. Lagena Yarbrough. Unlike other Nimitz-class SCOOPs, CVN 73 manned the SCOOP process with a team composed almost entirely of supply Sailors. “The culture of accountability in our supply department made it easy for our supply-rated Sailors to lead this command-wide evolution and produce incredible results,” stated George Washington Executive Officer Cmdr. Colin Day.
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SCOOP Team: Lt. Cmdr. Kidd, LS3 Escalante, CSSN Ridl, CS3 Cross, ET2 Cosey, LS3 Roberts, SHSN Delgado, Lt. Simonds
Supply Sailors participated in the overall planning, space closeouts, and auditing, and provided logistics expertise throughout the offload. The team’s constant engagement ensured that each item was traceable from the work center to the contractor’s warehouse and that the process could be duplicated upon ship outfitting in four years. Their involvement warranted almost no waiting time to close out spaces, reduced unauthorized items in storage, and resulted in project completion 25 percent ahead of the planned schedule.
In addition to studying previous carriers’ lessons learned, George Washington stood up their team three months in advance of SCOOP to conduct planning, training the crew, and finding ways to remove material before the official start date. The early start of SCOOP was the key to the whole evolution and enabled SCOOP completion ahead of schedule. Ready room chairs, float coats, emergency escape breathing devices, mattresses, rack curtains, and wool blankets were removed early to allow Sailors to focus on proper inventory and collection of all operating space items and their transfer to the warehouse. Personnel from across the ship immediately assumed the SCOOP mentality and began prepping spaces for close out and inspection by the SCOOP Quality Assurance team. This was a new evolution for George Washington Sailors, but leadership provided sound guidance and open communication which enabled them to execute the plan smoothly. In addition to 4,500 triwalls of tools, furniture, and other in-use items, a total of 60,000 line items of storeroom parts were relocated to a Naval Air Forces Atlantic warehouse to be managed during RCOH.
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Offloading 6,000 used mattresses
Sailors throughout every department were highly committed to completing their spaces prior to nominal deadlines. This commitment allowed George Washington to stay ahead of schedule, ensuring that spaces are being completed in time for turnover to the shipyard and commencement of RCOH. By staying ahead of schedule, both the crew and contractors were able to commence RCOH work well before the ship’s assigned transfer to Newport News Shipbuilding in August.
Accountability for the ship’s materials will ensure a bright future for the crew that redelivers George Washington in four years, and the crew’s motivation to finish SCOOP has placed them in a great position. “The SCOOP was truly a command function led by the supply department. Due to the diligence of the entire ship, in four years, George Washington will be able to bring everything back onboard and seamlessly transition back to an operational posture,” said SCOOP Coordinator Lt. Cmdr. Michael Kidd. “RCOH is an important part of the ship’s lifecycle, but the crew has not lost sight of the eventual goal of getting back to sea.”