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    First on Deck: Deck Department Moves Aboard



    Story by Seaman Tatyana Freeman 


    The year 2019 saw many significant milestones come and go for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and with a new year comes new milestones. Leading from the front in accomplishing these milestones, literally and figuratively, is deck department.
    “[We moved aboard due to] an eagerness throughout the department to get where we ought to be,” said Lt. j.g. Timothy Jefferson, deck department’s division officer .
    Deck department is the first department aboard George Washington to completely function on the ship independent of the floating accommodation facility (FAF).
    “Being in any shipyard environment is tough in that you do not have the physical ability to train in an operational setting, however you must tailor your training to your environment,” said Jefferson. “[Now being on the ship] is the opportune time to hone in on leadership skills and develop a strong work ethic.”
    In order to move aboard the ship, preparations had to be made to ensure the move aboard was successful and seamless.
    “Some of the preparations we made were ensuring proper work spaces were identified for all three divisions as well as for senior leadership,” said Jefferson. “We had to pull our weight as much as we could to have our identified work spaces ready for a full re-integration, and these Sailors did an astounding job.”
    Deck department was not alone in their accomplishment of fleeing the FAF, however. Other departments and teams came together to support the move, just as they have done and will continue to do throughout the refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) process.
    “Combat systems helped us tremendously with getting assets to the ship from our office on the FAF in a timely manner,” said Jefferson. “We greatly appreciate their help.”
    Being completely aboard the ship has alleviated common problems within the department.
    “It’s easier to talk to the chain of command,” said Seaman Morgan Berkopec, a Sailor assigned to deck department aboard George Washington. “We can have a direct line of communication instead of wasting time walking back and forth from the FAF.”
    Deck department’s move from FAF to ship brings with it not only an increased sense of purpose, but higher morale.
    “I feel like [deck moving aboard] is helping the ship move forward in the RCOH project and toward our next milestone,” said Berkopec.
    Deck department moving aboard is among George Washington’s first big accomplishments of 2020, and sets the standard and a challenge for the other departments to be the next to move aboard.
    “It shows pride,” said Jefferson, “The best type of ship is ‘ownership’ and from that stems pride. Our department is here, and as a result, we need to bring life back to the spaces we own and the ones we need in order to start revamping our programs.”
    Now deck’s spaces on the ship are abuzz with activity, the only thing left is to conquer more milestones-and there are many in the books.
    “Getting the ship prepared to receive Sailors from deck department back onboard living here [is our next milestone],” said Jefferson, “It is one small victory towards getting this ship to where it needs to be, and that is in the Fleet.”
    2020 promises a litany of other milestones that George Washington’s crew will successfully accomplish. Following deck department’s lead, other departments will mark their full return to the ship and say farewell to the FAF, bank building, and various supporting warehouses and facilities. As more capabilities throughout the command come home to the ship itself, George Washington is inching ever-closer to becoming not only the Navy’s premier and always ready aircraft carrier, but its most advanced and capable one as well.



    Date Taken: 01.07.2020
    Date Posted: 01.21.2020 10:25
    Story ID: 359407
    Location: NEWPORT NEWS, VA, US 

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