mize the time workers had to be off the ship. The pier also
featured a lunch facility to reduce time away for workers.
Northrop Grumman also used environmentally controlled tents — the size of football fields — under which
to resurface the flight deck with non-skid material. The
tents enable the yard to work without the rescheduling
and workaround normally necessitated by poor weather.
The shipyard employs a full-time, dedicated knowledge manager, Hughes said, “to capture lessons going
forward” for this and future RCOHs.
“That’s the hard part: stopping while you’re in the middle of learning something and writing it down to carry it
forward,” he said. “When we get close to an upcoming
event, they highlight [lessons] without us having to go
look for the things we stumbled across in the past.”
Carter and Hughes highlighted the teamwork that is
critical to the success of the RCOH.
“The thing that has made this overhaul different from
others is the teamworking relationship that we’ve had
between Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and [Navy’s]
supervisor of shipbuilding,” Carter said. “The combined
integrated effort that brings in the innovation, the com-
mitment, the determination and the willingness to work
together to accomplish this amazing feat could not be
done if we didn’t have that triad relationship. I think we’re
creating a standard for future overhauls to work within.
“Getting our Sailors to realize that they’re not the only
great Americans working on putting the ship back together, that they have other contracted civilians doing that,
putting that together into an integrated team has been a
challenge but one I think they’ve taken on very well.”
“[The Carl Vinson crew] did a great job leveraging
everything the previous [RCOH] crews had told them,”
Hughes said. “They changed their organizational structure before they came in to go from a warfighter to a
maintainer. They set their compartments up to align
with our organizational structure. And they did a
tremendous job with being prepared to come in and
work with us, which made our job easier.
“The way this team has integrated has been phenomenal,” he said. “We truly operate as a single entity.
They understand that there is no ‘us,’ there is no
‘them,’ it’s all ‘we.’ It’s certainly been taken to a new
level on this [RCOH].” ■
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