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    Another Milestone Accomplished: Engineering Department Breathes Fresh Air Midships

    Air Conditioning Midships

    Photo By Seaman Jack Lepien | 200410-N-KM722-1012 NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (April 10, 2020) Machinist Mate 2nd Class...... read more read more



    Story by Seaman Jack Lepien 


    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (April 10, 2020) – Air Conditioning (AC) is vital to any hot working environment, be it the open deserts of the Middle East, the humid swamps of the American South, or the inside of the most lethal and efficient piece of the U.S. Navy’s arsenal. That’s why getting the ship’s AC units up and running is critical to the operation of an aircraft carrier.
    Recently, the engineering department aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) restored the AC units midships to full capacity.
    “Air conditioning midships is a key milestone tied to crew move aboard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Schrimp, the auxiliaries officer aboard George Washington. “It involves the ability to demonstrate at least one fully operational air conditioning unit, circulate chill water, and operate fan coil units and associated ventilation systems between frames 96-180.”
    Restoring AC is a vital part of the refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) process for a number of reasons, such as crew move aboard and equipment retrofitting.
    “Restoring chill water throughout the ship is a major step toward making the ship operational and habitable,” said Schrimp. “Also, restoring the shipboard computer network, as well as all other electronic equipment, relies on cold air provided by the air conditioning system to be operational.”
    Getting the AC units midships back online isn’t the only RCOH milestone auxiliaries division will be involved in aboard George Washington. They will also be critical in a number of evolutions throughout the RCOH process.
    “The potable water key milestone is set for May 10, 2020,” said Schrimp. “Following close behind potable water testing will be service steam restoration. That will allow us to restore hot water throughout the ship for showers, galleys, and laundry, as well as aircraft launch and recovery systems.”
    According to Schrimp, it wasn’t an easy task. Sailors worked around the clock to ensure it got done.
    “The completion of [air conditioning midships] was a result of a combined effort between the auxiliaries division and the ventilation team with collection, holding, and transport (CHT) support from the repair division,” said Schrimp. “We also had to work closely with shipyard workers and civilian contractors throughout the process.”
    One of the Sailors that worked on the restoration of the AC system midships is Machinist Mate 2nd Class Christian Hoo, the work center supervisor of George Washington’s air condition and refrigeration division.
    “The midship AC loop supplies air conditioning from frame 96 through frame 180, all the way from the top of the ship to the bottom,” said Hoo. “Five different AC plants are needed just to supply the midships with cool air.”
    A lot of work went into the midship plants, and not just from Sailors. People from all around the ship and shipyard were involved in the process.
    “We had to coordinate with Newport News Shipbuilding and the ventilation team,” said Hoo. “It took a lot of work from everyone to get it done.”
    Hoo said one of the biggest struggles was restoring the system’s valves to working condition.
    “These valves have been sitting inactive for years,” said Hoo. “We had to clean them up, make sure they’re properly set, and test all of them for functionality.”
    The job is not over now that the system is online, however. Keeping the AC units functional takes a lot of effort, and will continue to do so throughout the rest of George Washington’s service life.
    “We still have a lot of work to do to keep the system running,” said Hoo. “We have regular weekly maintenance to perform, and we have to make sure that the water used to chill the air is free of debris.”
    Moving forward, George Washington’s auxiliaries division has been able to celebrate this accomplishment briefly, with an eye toward the future and the next milestones to complete during RCOH. Their work throughout the ship’s maintenance period ensures that many critical support and quality of life functions will be available to George Washington’s crew for the next 25 years.
    “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” said Hoo. “The next step is the forward AC loop. Anything to help the crew move aboard – hot water, galley equipment, you name it – we’ll be there.”



    Date Taken: 04.20.2020
    Date Posted: 04.20.2020 14:51
    Story ID: 367857
    Location: NEWPORT NEWS, VA, US 

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