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    The Third Wire of RCOH Milestones: GW Brings on Arresting Gear

    NEWPORT NEWS, VA, UNITED STATES

    02.11.2019

    Story by Seaman Apprentice Jack Lepien 

    USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73)

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - (Feb. 5, 2019) – Nimitz-class aircraft carriers utilize four arresting wires to catch fixed-wing aircraft and their aircrew upon landing. As a four-wire ship, the target wire for pilots is the three wire, a balance between safe clearance from the round down at the back of the ship and preventing an aircraft missing all the wires. As such, the third wire usually takes the most arrestments and requires the most maintenance.
    The crew of USS George Washington (CVN 73), alongside Newport News Shipyard personnel, brought the final two aircraft arresting gear engines aboard Feb. 2.
    The arresting gear was removed during the beginning of refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) and taken to a facility in New Jersey to be reworked and refinished.
    Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Christopher Hilger, from Louisville, Kentucky, and the V-2 maintenance chief, said that reinstalling the arresting gear engines is a significant milestone for the ship.
    “This is a big deal to the ship’s status in RCOH,” said Hilger. “This is one step closer to finally reclaiming our spaces and equipment.”
    Many of the personnel involved agree that a lot of teamwork and coordination took place prior to its return.
    “A lot of preparation went into preparing for the return of our arresting gear,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Amber Balajadia, from Monroe, Michigan, and the arresting gear leading petty officer. “Cleaning, sanding, painting, check fittings, level the brackets to ensure they’re at the proper height, taking apart the deck, rebuilding the deck, and lots of other tasks necessary to accommodate this gear.”
    Arresting gear are a vital component of this ship and any aircraft carrier’s mission.
    “The arresting gear engines are essentially what we use to catch or stop an aircraft landing on our ship,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Timothy Tolar, from Salamanca, New York, and the arresting gear assistant leading petty officer. “Without arresting gear, a plane would be unable to land.”
    The four arresting gear engines were returned in two separate events. The first two returned in December 2018, but now, with the third and fourth aboard, work can finally begin to reinstall the systems.
    “What we got back is the frame and the larger pieces of the engine,” said Tolar. “Lots of small, meticulous parts still need to be assembled in order to make them operational. It’s a lot of work, and it going to be a long, hard process. However, I know the task is going to be difficult and daunting. When we finally complete this goal and bring the systems back online, it will be very rewarding for us to have succeeded.”
    The personnel assigned to the task will now work on reassembling the engine components and reinstall them to get them ready for testing when the ship leaves the shipyard.
    “RCOH comes with a unique set of challenges for [aviation boatswain’s mates (equipment)], and I like rising to the occasion and meeting them,” said Tolar. “After we bring the arresting gear systems back online, all we have to do is catch an aircraft.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.11.2019
    Date Posted: 02.12.2019 09:23
    Story ID: 310404
    Location: NEWPORT NEWS, VA, US 
    Hometown: MONROE, MI, US
    Hometown: SALAMANCA, NY, US

    Web Views: 42
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