NEWPORT NEWS, VA, UNITED STATES
Story by Seaman Cory Daut
USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73)
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – (Jan. 21, 2020) Now in the second half of their refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) period, the crew aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) has their sights set on 2020’s biggest milestone, crew move aboard (CMA).
Scheduled for August 2020, CMA will signal a major shift in the RCOH process, and will require substantial efforts by all Sailors aboard George Washington. Playing a crucial role in this milestone is supply department, who will once again serve food from the ship’s galley at CMA.
“Some of the major milestones that we are going to have are filling up the storerooms with all of the food that we are going to need, getting the galley up to par, and testing all of the equipment before we start cooking over there,” said Chief Culinary Specialist Jose Valencia, the leading chief petty officer of the general mess division of the supply department. “We also need to have some deep cleaning and training all the [culinary specialists and food service attendants] on the new equipment that we will be getting.”
Successfully completing all of these prerequisites ensures that supply will be ready for the galley’s grand reopening, scheduled for Aug. 21, 2020.
“We have a team that does maintenance on the galley, but as they do that, we need to clean and [prepare] to get the spaces ready,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class India Kelley, a Sailor assigned to the general mess division of the supply department. “We need to get our equipment back on the ship. Right now, we don’t have any ovens, reefers, or any other equipment.”
Working side-by-side with George Washington’s supply department, contractors and Newport News Shipbuilding shipyard workers are helping to keep the drive to CMA on track.
“We are working hand and hand with the contractors to get the galley ready for crew move aboard in August,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Louis Fierro, leading petty officer of the general mess division of the supply department.
According to Operations Specialist 3rd Class Kye Sampson, a food services attendant aboard George Washington, even as the culinary specialists are currently serving food on the floating accommodation facility (FAF), they will ensure that George Washington Sailors have a place to sit down and enjoy three square meals a day aboard the ship.
With the opening of the galley and successful completion of CMA, George Washington Sailors may notice a change in their allocations. The basic allowance for subsistence, or BAS, which has been provided to the crew to offset the cost of meals not provided by the ship’s galley, will go away. With the galley up and running, however, Sailors will find it much easier to eat and work from the ship, and will have three meals a day readily accessible to them on their ship.
“So, we are looking to increase our meals for about 2,000 for lunch and dinner,” said Valencia.
With the number of Sailors eating at the galley most likely to increase, the workload for all of the galley workers is going to grow as well.
“Even though we are all pretty stressed out about the upcoming workload, it still feels very good serving Sailors our food to provide that kind of comfort for them, especially during their busy day,” said Sampson.
With the reopening of the galley onboard George Washington, it is not just about moving where Sailors eat from the FAF to the ship. It is about having the ability to serve Sailors on George Washington for the next 25 years.
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