Tuesday, August 12, 2008

USS Vinson makes final preparations to reopen galleys

By Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Brandon Monette, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS Va. (NNS) (July 28, 2008) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is making final preparations to reopen the ship's galley facilities as the aircraft carrier draws closer to her crew move aboard, scheduled for Aug. 18.

The initial openings will occur in the aft-crew mess decks, as well as the wardroom, chief petty officer mess and commanding officer galley complexes. Most of the equipment in these galleys has been mounted, installed and is ready for use. Following inspections by the ship's preventive medicine unit, food and dry stores will be moved into the galleys and refrigerated spaces.

"The ship is very prepared to move food on board," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Porsha Lockley. "We are positive that inspections will go well and that we will be moving food onto the ship in no time. Our division has been preparing for the move aboard for some time now, and all the hard work is finally paying off."

In preparation for the opening of galley facilities, Vinson's culinary specialists along with medical personnel, emphasize cleanliness and proper sanitation as an integral part of daily food service operations.

"Equipment and food are not the only things being prepped for the galley opening," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jose Belen, leading petty officer for the ship's preventive medicine team.

"Our team is training all galley personnel on food preparation safety, equipment handling and proper sanitation practices. Together, we aim to prevent any health issues that may degrade military readiness."

When fully operational, each galley will supply the crew with a 14-day menu cycle that will include main entrees, a salad, drink and dessert bar. Master Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Pedro Padilla, who heads the ship's galley operations, said his culinary specialists aim to establish a reputation of excellence.

"We pride ourselves on providing the crew with a variety of food selections and excellent service. I am very pleased with the progress we are making, and I am positive that we won't skip a beat as we transition to food services on board."

Carl Vinson is undergoing her scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.

During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.

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