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NNS Celebrates 20 years of VPP “Star” Excellence USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Begins Next Phase of Inactivation New HII Family Health Center to Open Fall 2015

Photo by John Whalen

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Crews working on CVN 65’s inactivation have some of the highest safety records across the shipyard. May 2, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) returned to the dry dock where she was first brought to life. Guided by tug boats, the “Big E” was moved one mile along the James River from Pier 2 to Dry Dock 11. Since arriving for inactivation at Newport News Shipbuilding June 20, 2013, more than 1,000 employees and Navy personnel have been working on the one-of-akind ship. “It’s nice to work on a piece of history, and I’m happy to be a part of Enterprise’s final journey,” said Mike Smith, program manager, CVN 65 Inactivation Team. “She’s a legend in Navy lore and always has been.” Shipfitter Tommy Conner, said, “She has come full circle. Her last ride brought her back to where she started 54 years ago. Some of the work we have performed has been major. Working together with the trades, we feel good about all that we have accomplished. Just being on the Enterprise makes you have a lot of pride.”

“CVN 65 is the cleanest ship in our Navy programs,” said Dave Long, director, CVN 65 Inactivation. “The team’s excellent safety performance is directly related to the cleanliness of the ship and the pride the CVN 65 Inactivation Team shows each and every day.” Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is also the first to undergo an inactivation, which includes defueling the ship’s eight reactors and preparing the hull for its final dismantlement. Work will continue in the dry dock until fall 2016.

To continue the defueling process, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) was relocated to Dry Dock 11 May 2. The famed ship is now adjacent to the pier where USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) is undergoing a mid-life refueling and complex overhaul. Photo by Dar Deerfield Mook


s i r a t S

n r o b Re

Forget the stars on Hollywood Boulevard. Newport News Shipbuilding has a star of its own. Seen on the green crane and roads throughout the shipyard, the red and blue star represents “Star” status, the highest level of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), and is a direct result of each shipbuilder’s commitment to safety. This year marks the shipyard’s 20th year of VPP Star excellence. “This accomplishment is only possible because of our shipbuilders’ strong commitment to our Health and Safety programs,” said NNS President Matt Mulherin. “Our programs are designed to give each shipbuilder a voice – to look for new and safer ways of doing business, and to speak up if something isn’t working.” In February, a team of OSHA auditors conducted interviews and walkthroughs in multiple shops and on ships across the shipyard to evaluate the safety culture at NNS. It’s a culture that Master Shipbuilder LaMar Morris has watched evolve over his more than 40 years of service. He remembers a time when shipbuilders were only concerned about their own safety and when equipment wasn’t inspected as often as it is today. “The culture has changed. We have regulations and checklists and other safety programs that help us work safer now,” he said. “And our leadership from the waterfront up to the top truly cares.” During the visit, OSHA team members recognized proactive programs like the STOP IT badge that empowers shipbuilders to step in if they see something that might not be safe. Other health and safety practices that received a positive response from the team were Health and Safety Expos, fitness programs and Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Task Teams. While EH&S Task Teams play an integral role in the Health and Safety program, it’s up to the entire shipbuilding family to take action. The EH&S Team launched a new campaign, Safety STARts With Me, to encourage shipbuilders to take greater ownership of safety. “This isn’t just about the Safety Task Teams,” said Fabrication Safety Task Team member Michael Kinder Jr. “Everyone has to look out for each other. That’s what creates a safe work environment.” NNS had a record safety year in 2014 and is looking to improve on those results in the years ahead. The goal is to reach zero accidents per year. “We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got more work to do. It’s important to remember that we can always get better,” Morris said. I By Jeremy Bustin Painter Larry Everette applies a fresh coat of paint to a star at Newport News Shipbuilding to commemorate the shipyard’s recertification as a Voluntary Protection Program Star Worksite – OSHA’s highest safety recognition. Photo by Ricky Thompson

When Collis P. Huntington founded the shipyard, its charter was to “build and repair steamships, ships, vessels and boats of all dimensions…” Before the small company went on to build some of the world’s most famous ships, it got its start in ship repair. The Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company repaired and rebuilt the Kimberly, a 3,740-ton steamer, in 1890 – the same year the contract to build the Dorothy was awarded. Today, ship repair is alive and growing at Newport News Shipbuilding. NNS has performed repair and maintenance on submarines and surface ships of all types – from oil tankers to commercial cruise liners. The shipyard makes its world-class facilities available to surface ships for routine maintenance, services recently used by USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). In 2013, shipbuilders performed a challenging 12-month repair on USS Montpelier (SSN 765), whose rudder and pressure hull had been damaged. What Mr. Huntington may not have foreseen was his shipyard sending elite teams of shipbuilders around the world to repair and modernize submarines. In 1982, the shipyard created submarine “Tiger Teams,” small teams of highlytrained shipbuilders able to respond within 24-36 hours to any location in the world. Generally, the work was limited to small repair jobs, but in 2003 the shipyard started bidding on planned submarine modernization projects. Today, NNS performs four to five major submarine modernization projects a year, sending teams of 30-60 shipbuilders to naval stations in Hawaii, Washington, New England and even Asia. One team recently returned from Asia, where they upgraded a weapons system on several foreign submarines. The work was contracted through the U.S. Navy, who also had the project designed and engineered by NNS. “It was challenging,” said Darren Mitchel, the construction supervisor who led the team of 14

shipbuilders on the project. “We had to overcome lots of logistics issues. Food, religion and language were all different. We were holding ourselves to OSHA standards in a country that has no OSHA.” John Schoch, a recently retired director of, Surface Ship and Submarine Fleet Maintenance, said, “Our work is very entrepreneurial and fast-paced. We like to be under the radar, do our jobs, and chase new opportunities.” Mitchel and his team were overseas for three months. “That’s three months away from family and living in a hotel. That’s not for everyone,” he said. “But before

we left for home, we actually got to see them test the weapons system we upgraded. The reward for me is getting to see the job through from beginning to end.” I By Peter Stern Construction Supervisor Darren Mitchel recently led a team of 14 shipbuilders on a three-month job in Asia, where they upgraded a weapons system on several submarines. Fleet Support performs four to five major submarine modernization projects a year, sending teams around the world to perform them. Photo by John Whalen

Building a Healthier F NEW FAMILY HEALTH CENTER TO OPEN FALL 2015 When the doors to the new HII Family Health Center open later this year, employees and their family members arriving for a scheduled appointment will enter a warm, welcoming lobby to a facility that promises an ideal patient experience.

and their dependents enrolled in eligible Anthem consumer-driven health plans or preferred-provider option plans. Discussions with union leadership about making the health center available to the represented population have begun.

Beginning with its location just outside the shipyard gates on Washington Avenue between 45th and 46th streets, to the $15 fee per visit, to a wait time of no more than 10 minutes for scheduled appointments, the future center is designed to provide convenient, affordable care focused on health and wellness.

Unlike other health care providers, there’s no deductible. The total visit cost is a $15 fee, which will cover all services provided during the appointment. “You will not receive a separate bill for lab work, X-rays, physical therapy or immunizations,” said Brian Heath, QuadMed’s Manager of Health Center Operations.

“We wanted to locate the Family Center close to the shipyard to help reduce the barriers employees may have when trying to make health and wellness a priority,” said Bill Bell, Newport News’ vice president of Human Resources and Administration.

QuadMed, a nationally recognized innovator in offering on-site primary care centers and health care management solutions, will operate the health center independently from HII and NNS. The center is subject to the same laws of confidentiality that apply to all U.S. health care providers. All information and decisions made by the

Services will be available to nonrepresented employees

Nineteen exam rooms in addition to five specialty exam rooms and two pediatric exam rooms.

A waiting room specifically designed for children, complete with games and interactive activities.


Five physical therapy exam rooms and a workout area.

patient and the QuadMed health care professional will remain private, and will not be shared with HII or NNS. The Family Health Center’s primary, acute and preventive services will include: • Adult and pediatric immunizations • Physical therapy • Health and wellness education and coaching • X-ray and laboratory services • Full on-site pharmacy • Mobile apps and online patient tools • Extended hours, including Saturdays To learn more about the new health center, visit A rendering of the nearly 22,000-square-foot, two-story HII Family Health Center in Newport News, Virginia.

A full on-site pharmacy with drive-through service.

Tree Mendous Task A

A shop with no ceiling. That’s how Chipper Willie Clark, a member of the CVN 79 Safety Task Team, describes the Final Assembly Platen (FAP) in the North Yard. Being outside in the elements, rain, snow, ice, wind, sun, heat and other environmental challenges, creates safety concerns on the FAP that may not always exist inside other shops. The more than 6-acre FAP, where the newest aircraft carrier, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), is being assembled has roughly 250 metal “trees.” Each holds an average of 15 wires, cables or lines which run in, out and around the 41 units currently being constructed on the platen. Construction Supervisor and CVN 79 Safety Task Team Lead Bobby Gulaskey described maintaining order of the many service lines on the platen similar to keeping the vines in a jungle growing in a straight line. “If you aren’t managing it daily, it can get out of hand. It’s critical to keep lines off the deck. When I say ‘take care of that limbo line,’ they know what I mean,” said Gulaskey. Organizing the lines is a huge challenge. Safety team member and Pipefitter Jason Gary talks about using trees to hang up the lines on the FAP and in the Covered Modular Outfitting Facility (CMOF). “If the wires aren’t hung up right, it can be a big mess and you can get caught up in them. If you recognize and control the problem, it helps reduce injuries because there are less hazards,” said Gary.

Electrician and team member Sam Brandon said, “I’ve been working on the platen since 1977 and, back then, we just got the lines up. The gas, welding and electrical lines were all run together.” Brandon added, “Now we separate them for safety reasons.” As a result, the trees now have different-colored hooks for the different lines. The 15-member CVN 79 Safety Task Team acts as the voice for safety to roughly 300 shipbuilders working on the platen. Eighteen months ago, the team began implementing some important changes. Getting a dedicated forklift for the platen was one of the needs the team identified. Brandon explained, “As work increased over time, it got harder to get things moved. Now that we have a dedicated forklift for the platen, it’s made our job a whole lot faster and more efficient.” Welder and team member Brian Holstein said, “It all comes down to communication. If you see someone struggling with something, you go help them out.” The CVN 79 Safety Task Team believes they are developing a safety culture that is taking root and continuously growing in its everchanging environment. Task team members say safety is weaving in and out of the entire platen, just like the thousands of lines they are constantly adjusting and maintaining. | By Amy McDonald

CVN 79 Safety Task Team members (L to R): Clyde Cutler, Sam Brandon and Willie Clark hang gas lines on yellow hooks and welding lines on grey hooks to improve safety on the Final Assembly Platen. Photo by John Whalen

Lose2Win You’ve heard it before – diet and exercise will help you lose weight. Sounds easy, but what foods should you avoid? Is it better to walk, run or lift weights? In June, Newport News Shipbuilding employees will find out when they sign up for Lose2Win, a free weight loss management program that takes the guesswork out of losing pounds and keeping them off. The eight-week program combines nutrition, fitness and lifestyle choices, with a mix of fun challenges. “We are all about lifestyle changes.” said HealthWaves Program Coordinator Emily McCarley.

Participants create a smart goal, such as dropping a pants size, but they need a game plan to make it happen. Then, over the next two months, they learn how to incorporate exercise, fitness and healthy foods into their routines so that the habits stick long after the pounds are shed.

This approach is what appealed to Rob Ford, a nuclear test foreman. He lost a total of 30 pounds by participating in two Lose2Win programs and is still working toward his goal to lose 10 more. “The big takeaway for me was that you have to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight,” said Ford, who

engaged his wife in his quest. Together, they joined a local fitness club and began adding different fresh foods to their diet. “My wife is a professional cook, so I always eat well. It was about learning what to cook that’s better for you,” he said. Involving co-workers and family members in one’s weightloss journey is something that McCarley loves to see. “Those who do are the ones who have a higher success rate.” | By Aaron Pritchett With support from his co-workers and wife, Rob Ford lost 30 pounds after he enrolled in the shipyard’s Lose2Win free weight-loss program. Photo by John Whalen

Register Now! The upcoming free Lose2Win program will have convenient classes, offered three times a week at six on-site locations during the lunch period and in the late afternoon. Classes begin June 28. To register for the June 2-Aug. 6 classes, go to Meetings are held weekly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.


AMSEC’s Computer Support Specialist Michael Bell has made preserving the Chesapeake Bay a labor of love and an outlet for his artistic expression. As a volunteer, Bell was president of Hampton Bay Days, one of the largest “green” events and festivals on the East Coast. He also served on the festival’s board of directors for a number of years. “It was a unique privilege being part of the festival whose goal is to educate the public about the importance of the Chesapeake Bay. Getting involved in environmental causes was natural for me. My father was heavily involved in the community and I wanted to take it to another level,” said Bell. Bell also followed his father’s and mother’s footsteps into the shipyard. After graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta, he joined the shipyard as a technical illustrator 29 years ago. He’s since held a variety of positions and joined AMSEC in 1999.

To remain actively involved with environmental conservation, Bell formed the S.O.S. Legacy for Life Project in 2010. The project allows him to focus his passion for art, his commitment to mentoring and supporting youth activities, and giving back to the community. When Bell isn’t in his studio creating art, he’s in the classroom speaking with students or fishing debris out of the Hampton River. “When I’m talking to youth, I encourage them to get involved and take pride in something positive. I’d like to inspire the next generation to care for our planet. “My dream is to continue my stewardship of being an advocate for art and conservation of our natural resources.” I By Gina Chew-Holman

On most weekends, Michael Bell can be found in his dinghy cleaning debris out of the Hampton River and Chesapeake Bay. Photo by Ricky Thompson


John J. Browder 40 years

Harvey M. Ellis Jr. 40 years

Stephen J. Whitley Jr. 40 years

Paul D. Williams 55 years

James L. Foster 40 years


Glenn A. Hunter 40 years

Dennis W. Nicely 40 years

John W. Waddy 40 years

LONG SERVICE 55 Years Paul D. Williams X43 40 Years John J. Browder E85 Harvey M. Ellis Jr. X67 James L. Foster X91 Glenn A. Hunter O39 Dennis W. Nicely X87 John W. Waddy X75 Stephen J. Whitley Jr. E51 35 Years Ernest G. Byrum O39 Robert C. Callahan X73 James B. Cattenhead X82 Ronald G. Ferguson E82 Dale E. Fouse E81 Dalphine D. Hazell O06 Michael C. Huxford X43 Loren B. Kennedy O57

Charles B. Kidwell E88 David A. Kyle E25 Howard C. Lagillier X31 Howard B. Moore Jr. E85 Charles E. Pope Jr. X73 Teresa A. Ruark E.18 Ronald R. Smith II X42 Christian J. West K78 David W. Williams X73 30 Years Larry D. Bateman X31 Robert P. Bedio E85 John J. Bosco O37 Kenneth S. Callaway O19 Wiley P. Carter X42 Dale S. Cowell X73 Angela N. Davis O95 Gregory Davis X33 Ronnie Davis O54 Beverly A. Deskins E85

APRIL Douglas M. Fletcher O67 Shelton R. Foster Jr. X42 Dean D. Giacopassi T55 Christopher D. Hall X11 Earl A. Hammock Jr. X73 Elliott Hill K78 Robert E. Hurley Jr. O39 Monica G. Jones E88 Donald J. Kaminski O43 Todd J. Kelley X73 Dennis H. Lee X33 Richard D. Pate X42 Randolph C. Phillips E88 Joseph R. Revere E12 Preston R. Slaughter X33 Donald V. Sniady O39 William B. Wiggs X89 John B. Williams III O39 John K. Gnass AMSEC George F. Bates III AMSEC

25 Years Larry D. Adams AMSEC Robert C. Austin Jr. X82 Curtis L. Baines K93 Brendan G. Barrett X70 Daniel L. Beale X33 Sarah Bellamy O43 Willie A. Belle X33 Andrew T. Bessen E74 Terry W. Brooks X36 Terence Burnette X88 Tracy B. Burrell E85 Rodney D Butler X43 Percell Chavers III X33 Daryl E. Curry X36 Zerro K. Davis X36 Michael W. Duncan X33 Lynn C. Fraser O48 Marlon D. Gatling X11 Charles E. George III X36 Mickey V. Gilliam X31

Joel K. Goodson M53 Antonio Hargrave X31 Jimmy L. Harrison X42 Willie L. Heart X33 Thomas W. Henderson X70 Coleman C. Higgins E88 Randy L. Hill X88 Bernard W. James Jr. O15 Kenneth L. Jernigan X33 Ronald L. Johnson X43 Wyneil A. Lee O53 Erek N. Little X33 Richard A. Martin Jr. O39 Michael A. Massenburg X33 Cynthia S. Matheson O62 Vincent Matthews O14 Connie S. McKeel E57 John T. Persinger E81 Anthony L. Rainey X42 Alvin Ricks X33 Mickey L. Roberts X36

RETIREMENTS Gilbert N. Askew Jr. X42 Michael V. Barger X36 Douglas H. Benton X11 Joseph Borgese O72 Joe A. Butler Jr. X11

Malcolm R. Campbell O53 Stephen F. Capehart X11 Kathy L. D’andria O79 James D. Dangerfield O53 Pernell L. Denson X36

Lee G. Robison X42 Daniel J. Rouleau M53 Susan M. Shatto O68 Larry D. Tatem X42 Craig D. Wells X31 Edward R. White X42 James T. Williams X43 Harry C. Forrest AMSEC 20 Years Michael A. Austin X59 Alvin D. Lankford Jr. X32 Calvin M. Rock X59 Heather A. Westmoreland E38 Cesar R. Dimalanta AMSEC John L. Galle Jr. AMSEC

MARCH Georgia M. Guild X88 Michael G. Hawk O53 William D. King Jr. O39 Bernard L. Moore X11 Reginald F. Neale E84

John E. Pace O58 Opie D. Quesenberry X32 Mary T. Schultz X59 Bruce A. Silverthorn N363 Rebecca A. Stewart O11

Robert E. Swinton X33 Lucy S. Tackett E85 James R. Thornton X42 Johnny M. Walton X43 George A. Williams X33 ON THE COVER

Yardlines is published 10 times a year for the employees of Newport News Shipbuilding.

A golden sunset over the James River silhouettes a crane at rest in the North Yard.

M AY 2 0 15

This issue of Yardlines was produced by: Jeremy Bustin, Troy Cooper, Margie Jones, Amy McDonald, Eugene Phillips, Aaron Pritchett, LaMar Smith, Peter Stern, Susan Sumner and Lauren Ward. Editor: Gina Chew-Holman Send change of address, comments, questions and story ideas to or call 757-380-2627.




NNS Celebrates 20 years of VPP “Star” Excellence USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Begins Next Phase of Inactivation New HII Family Health Center to Open Fall 2015

Photo by John Whalen

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Proteus, a fully-operational submersible undersea vehicle, made its debut at the annual Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition in April. Built by Undersea Solutions Group (USG), the newest member of the Newport News Shipbuilding family, Proteus is unique in its ability to operate in manned or unmanned mode. The dual-mode vehicle can be used for a variety of tasks, including: payload integration, test and comparison; long-range and standoff experiments; transporting and installing equipment on the sea oor; inspecting undersea infrastructure such as bridge pilings, undersea pipelines and oil rigs; and transporting divers and cargo. Proteus will be marketed to the U.S. Navy and to international customers. View a video and learn more about Proteus at



REPORT *Compared to ďŹ gures from April 2014

Year-to-Date Injuries 352



Thousands of attendees from the defense industry, private sector and military leadership attending the annual Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition got an up-close view of Proteus, a small submersible, which was on display at the Huntington Ingalls Industries booth. Photo by Chris Oxley

Year-to-Date Injuries with Lost Time 128



+2% Year-to-Date Lost Work Days 3,602

Profile for Newport News Shipbuilding

Yardlines, May 2015  

NNS Celebrates 20 years of VPP "Star" Excellence, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Begins Next Phase of Inactivation, and a New HII Family Health Cen...

Yardlines, May 2015  

NNS Celebrates 20 years of VPP "Star" Excellence, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Begins Next Phase of Inactivation, and a New HII Family Health Cen...