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In This Issue NNS Engineers Sail on CVN 77 Submarine Builders Set New Record

Yardlines

Photo by Chris Oxley

On the Move With the Night Train

A Publication of Newport News Shipbuilding

August 2012


NIGHT TRAIN Most people are surprised to discover that Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) has more than 15 miles of track within the shipyard’s 550 acres, with two active engines and six qualified locomotive operators/switchmen transporting materials as needed on first and second shift. But trains have always been an integral part of the shipyard. In 1886, railroad magnate and NNS founder Collis P. Huntington needed a ship repair facility to support the business of shipping coal delivered on his railroad. As the

shipbuilding contracts grew larger, so did the materials. When a piece of ship weighs up to 300 tons and needs to be transported a mile away, the connection between trains and ships doesn’t seem so strange. Alan Brinkley, who came to the shipyard 32 years ago, is the sole locomotive operator on the night shift. After working in nuclear laundry for eight years, Brinkley was approached about joining the locomotive team. “I had no idea what I was getting into!” joked Brinkley. “Many of


the tracks run through busy intersections. Vehicles and pedestrians are constantly present, requiring a completely different set of skills and training than operators in other settings. Safety is our biggest challenge and number one priority.” The newest locomotive at the shipyard, Engine 507, is capable of going up to 65 mph, but due to the unique environment, it rarely goes over 15 mph, even during the day. “Operating at night is even more of a challenge because of reduced visibility. Then there’s the challenge of traffic—we’re not the only ones transporting materials around the yard. It could take a quick 20 minutes to get something across the yard, but there’s always something in the way,” remarked Brinkley. For this reason, the operators are never alone. “I always work with two ground men: Darrell James is my lead man and Maurice Owens is my back man. Their job is to direct

me, because they see what I can’t. Locomotives never move without eyes and ears in front and back,” explained Brinkley. With payloads weighing up to several hundred tons, the night train team works together to carefully navigate the maze of the shipyard. “You can work here for years as a ground man and still not know about some of the lesser-used tracks. The rail system is huge, and you appreciate that more after you have been doing this job for a couple years,” Brinkley said. While trains are important to shipbuilding, so are the people who operate the trains. “I like this job,” Brinkley declared, with a big smile on his face. “I’ve been operating the night train for 17 years. I think I can do another 10.”

L to R: Maurice Owens, Alan Brinkley (cover photo) and Darrell James operate Engine 507 through the shipyard, navigating the maze of more than 15 miles of track to get materials where they need to be. Photo by Chris Oxley


Thanks to a new welding plan and collaboration between the Virginia-Class Submarine (VCS) Construction team, Welding Engineering, Dimensional Control and the Welding and Fitters departments, installation of the steering and dive guide tubes on the John Warner submarine were completed in record time. “On the Minnesota, the guide tubes were welded in 93 days, and on the North Dakota, welding was reduced to 38 days,” said John Wagoner, VCS construction team leader. “Using what we learned on the previous two ships to develop a new welding sequence plan, we were able to complete the Warner’s guide tubes in 22 days.” To reduce the construction and installation time, Welding Engineering developed a plan that outlined the sequence in which each frame of the guide tubes would be welded. This was important because there were precise dimensional control targets that had to be met. “There was very little room for error,” said Fitter Michael Perry. “If the team missed the target on any one frame and had to cut it, we were looking at an extra week in the schedule per frame.” This meant the project team had to make some critical decisions. From the start, the team agreed to utilize skills around the clock, weld on the port and starboard sides simultaneously, and meet every other day at 6:15 a.m. to fine-tune the plan as needed. “We were also determined to finish a significant amount of welding each day and allow the frames to cool so that Dimensional Control could take their readings during the third shift,” said Welder Apprentice Kelli Vallez. “Because we had the data and the sequence prior to first shift, we were able to plan our welding and trim days off the schedule.” Key contributors to the success of the project were the welding and fitting crews led by Todd Corr, Kim Kerins and Dino Martin, and welders Eric Barden, Lawrence Britt, Moses Cherry, Travis Jenkins, James Parham, Matthew Shilling, Kelli Vallez and Jered Wright. The fitters were Aaron Beckett, Michael Perry, and Welton Pierce, with crews led by Justin Crockett and Ryan Ritter from the Dimensional Control team and Lynn Showalter in Welding Engineering.


“It’s an art to me,” said the 38-year shipyard veteran who co-workers call “The Legend.” Davis has been welding since before he was old enough to drive, having trained in the profession at a vocational school before coming to work at Newport News. The shipyard placed him in the burning department when he arrived, but he convinced Human Resources to move him to welding. “I told them I liked welding and I would be of more benefit to them in that area,” he said. And he was.”I’ve been welding ever since.” But going from welder to “legend” took something more than just an aptitude for the job. It took a lot of pride, said Davis, something instilled in him at an early age. As a youngster his dad would make him cut the grass, and if Davis didn’t do a good job, his dad would send him back out to do it again. “He would tell me if you are going to do something, then try to do it right.” Over the years, Davis has mastered all forms of welding techniques and any new welding technologies that came along during his nearly four decades of building ships. He’s worked on submarines, aircraft carriers, tankers, cargo ships and cruise ships. “Just about every ship that came to the shipyard,” he said. On one particular day, Davis remembered he was welding on a ship, using three mirrors to ensure the job was done right. A co-worker stopped to watch what he was doing and told him he was good—that he was a “legend.” Then she wrote that word on his tool box. And

the name stuck. “Everywhere I go they say ‘here comes The Legend,’” said Davis. Today, what Davis enjoys the most is sharing what he’s learned. “I like helping other people, seeing them progress and gain confidence in themselves. I know I’ve showed this guy something and now he can pass it on.” But before he takes on new pupils, he first asks them if they take pride in their work. “If they do, then I’ll show them everything. But if they don’t want to learn it right, then I’ll tell them they’re wasting my time.” And the young welders keep coming to Davis, asking for his help. “If you show one person, it’s like a chain reaction,” he said. That’s the legacy Davis wants to leave in his wake.

File photo by John Whalen

For Tony Davis, welding isn’t just a job. And it isn’t simply a skill he’s acquired.

During his nearly four decades at the shipyard, Tony Davis’ (left) artistry as a welder and mentor to new shipbuilders has earned him the nickname “The Legend.” Davis took Welder Terry Bryan Jr. (right) under his wing three years ago. Photo by Ricky Thompson


From Design ToReality What is life like aboard an aircraft carrier at sea? Unless you are Navy personnel, the President of the United States or a distinguished guest—chances are you will never find out. In June, 13 Newport News engineers were offered an experience of a lifetime—a trip aboard a commissioned carrier through Newport News Shipbuilding’s (NNS) Engineers to Sea program. The shipbuilders, predominately carrier engineers, spent five days and four nights exploring ship compartments and living as a sailor aboard the Nimitz-class carrier, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). “Historically, carrier engineers have not had the

opportunity to see the systems they design being used in their ship’s at-sea environment,” said Chuck Shirley, Engineers to Sea program coordinator. “Through this program, engineers are able to interact with Navy personnel, analyze ship systems, and observe sailors as they operate and maintain systems while at sea.” The team boarded CVN 77 at Naval Station Norfolk and sailed out with the ship’s crew. “I had always heard family and friends talk about life at sea, but I had never been able to experience it. This was always ironic to me, since I have been designing ship models at NNS for eight years,” said Engineer Benjamin Price. “When stepping aboard the carrier, one of the first things I noticed was the huge difference in looking at deck plans on paper


or through a computer-simulated model versus actually being on the ship.” Once under way, the team began touring various compartments and collecting data. “We got to see everywhere from the machinery rooms to the propulsion plant to the galley and food storage rooms,” said Engineer Aris Vincent Picardo, who joined NNS six year ago. “After talking with galley personnel, we discovered that a minor design change in the width of the doors leading to the storage room would make their lives a lot easier. This simple change would allow food pallets to more easily fit through the door and also use less manpower when transporting food to different locations throughout the carrier.” Kayla Harris, who designs and programs modeling and simulation software applications added, “Another example is the location of the alarms throughout the ship. Some alarms may need to be located higher so that more people can be alerted, whereas others might need to be

lower so that they only alert people in one specific area. It’s very easy to look at a deck plan and make decisions; however, taking extra time to look into the location of every item could mean a tremendous difference in the quality of life a sailor experiences while at sea.” The team toured more than 45 CVN 77 compartments. “I plan to take what I learned at sea and go back and discuss possible system changes with my peers,” said Harris. “This trip has given me a whole new perspective on my job. I hope more engineers are able to have this invaluable experience and come back to Newport News with their innovative ideas.” To see video of the CVN 77 Engineers to Sea experience visit nns.huntingtoningalls.com/videos.

Engineer Aris Vincent Picardo gets a view of the flight deck from the integrated catapult control station aboard CVN 77. Photo by Lauren Ward


On a hot day this past June, members of the Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) Fire Department could be seen lowering themselves, one at a time, down into Dry Dock 2. The scenario—a shipbuilder was injured and needed to be rescued. Outfitted with harnesses, ropes and other rescue gear, firefighters Jonathan Burcham, Jason Gray, James Hawkins, Wendy Sauro and Clinton Sullivan were taking part in a training exercise designed to practice rappelling skills. The NNS rescuers had to scale down the dry dock’s 41-foot interior wall then package and remove the simulated patient using rescue gear and a basket. “With the complex work that our shipbuilders perform daily, our firefighters need to be ready for almost anything,” Lt. Michael Taylor explains. “Because our teams need to respond fast and with precision, continuing education and maintaining a high skill level are extremely important in being able to support shipyard operations.” High angle and confined-space rescue exercises are just two of the many necessary skills NNS firefighters practice throughout the year to ensure they are ready for any possible situation. NNS’ dedicated Fire Department works around the clock assigned to three six-person teams, each working 24-hour shifts. The department’s experience, skills and detailed knowledge of the 550-acre shipyard enable the 18 firefighters to respond quickly to any shipyard emergency.

Firefighter James Hawkins practices rappelling and rescue skills in Dry Dock 2. Photo by Chris Oxley


A Happy Greeting Tony Mann is a happy, happy guy. And for the 29 years he’s worked as a security officer at the shipyard, he’s been busy spreading that happiness around. In fact, it was his positive outlook that got him hired in the first place. “He liked my attitude,” said Mann of the person who hired him some three decades ago. Formerly with the Hampton Police Department, Mann came to the shipyard in 1983. As part of the Security Department, he has worked all over the shipyard, from buildings to piers to aircraft carriers to patrolling the many acres of waterfront. Today he can usually be found at the front desk of Building 520, located at 41st Street and Washington Avenue. But no matter where he is, Mann greets everyone he sees with a wish for a “happy, happy day.” “Especially during the first part of morning from six to eight, I try to be as positive as I can,” said Mann. Whether it’s ‘happy, happy Monday’ or ‘happy, happy Thursday,’ every day of the week is a chance for him to wish the best to people coming through the door.

“I also give out quite a few high-fives while I’m there,” he said. “It helps set the tone for people coming in. We have a lot of fun. Wherever I’m at, I try to keep it happy for the people there.” Mann credits his late mother and a favorite uncle, who was always giving out smiles and an encouraging word, for infecting him with a positive spirit. “It just kind of sticks,” Mann said. “And I just like to see people smile.” As employees, contractors and visitors come in and out of the shipyard, it’s Mann’s job to check IDs, sign in guests and keep the building secure. It can get hectic at times, but Mann keeps up the smiles. “It’s not tough to do,” he said. His enthusiasm for his job can be infectious. “I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘I felt down today, but you lifted my spirits.’ I just try to make a difference.”

Security Officer Tony Mann gives NNS employee Stacey Brand one of his signature greetings at Building 520. Photo by Ricky Thompson


Long Service MASTER SHIPBUILDERS

JULY

Davie Banks 40 years

Charles Barkley 40 years

Billy Beebe 40 years

D. Billy Boyd 40 years

Bill Boyd 40 years

David Compton 45 years

Jim Corliss 40 years

Larry Davis 40 years

Tom Drye 40 years

Doc Ellis 40 years

Allen Fincher 45 years

Eddie Garris 40 years

Leonard Harper 40 years

Alfred Jones 45 years

Paul Jones 55 years

Willie M. Jones 40 years

Keith Joyner 40 years

Jim Keenehan 40 years

Skip Kilburn 45 years

Clinton Moore 40 years

Larry Munn 40 years

Michael Weirich 40 years

Pernell Newby 50 years

Lonnie Peele 40 years

Alex Perry 40 years

Ed Price 45 years

Larry Raynor 40 years

Bill Rhodes 45 years

Thomas Smith 40 years

Ed Smithwick 45 years

T.R. Sweat 40 years

Lindell Toombs 40 years

Charles Vassar 40 years

Bill Wallace 40 years

Bobby White 45 years

Rick Woods 40 years


Long Service MASTER SHIPBUILDERS

Jim Albert 40 years

Robert Chappell 40 years

Thomas Ruffin 45 years

John Temple 40 years

55 Years Paul D. Jones X84

T. R. Sweat X32 Lindell C. Toombs X33 Charles E. Vassar X31 Bill Wallace X75 Michael E. Weirich E65 Rick Woods X42

50 Years John B. Jeffries Jr. X42 Pernell Newby X36 45 Years David L. Compton O43 John T. Drake X36 Allen T. Fincher X31 Alfred Jones X15 Dale K. Jones X53 Skip Kilburn O57 Ed Price E45 Bill Rhodes Jr. E14 Ed Smithwick X88 Bobby R. White O46 40 Years Ronald D. Bailey X43 Davie B. Banks X71 Charles E. Barkley X33 Billy K. Beebe X89 D. Billy Boyd X42 Bill C. Boyd X32 Jim E. Corliss E58 John Daidola AMSEC Larry Davis X82 Tom Drye O04 Jack W. Dunn X18 Doc Ellis O46 Eddie L. Garris X18 Leonard E. Harper O61 Willie M. Jones X18 Keith S. Joyner X70 James R. Keenehan X31 Clinton R. Moore O31 Larry F. Munn E42 Lonnie Peele X42 Alexander Perry O15 Larry D. Raynor X33 Thomas E. Smith O31

35 Years Hasan Abdul Malik X32 Gilbert L. Ackes X36 William M. Adkins O43 Fernando T. Bailey X10 Joseph Banks III X31 Douglas Barrow X18 Herman L. Batts Jr. X11 Edward M. Belbin II X18 Fred H. Bell X18 Michael K. Bezek X76 George A. Boone O53 Joe C. Boyd X36 William W. Byrum O46 Luther W. Cartwright O43 Stephen D. Crampton O64 John W. Deloatch X11 Neal V. Edwards X88 Max J. Elliott-Blount X36 Rudolph Futrell X36 Richard A. Gent X36 Ricky M. Grandison X11 Craig A. Harlan X11 William F. Harris Jr. T54 Vicky Holden O12 Ivan N. Huneycutt X71 Beverly L. Jones X67 Ricky E. Jordan X11 Mark R. Keafer X36 Linda E. Kerlin O51 Bradley J. Kiehner O14 Richard S. Lemons O37 Sherry L. Lusby O53 Gregory Marshall X11 Richard L. Messick X36 Eric A. Miller O57

Daniel Fontaine 40 years

Robert L. Costello O81 Lloyd W. Craig Jr. X31 Otis L. Dickerson X32 David R. Farries X74 James C. Fike O21 Richard M. Gurtis E74 William R. Harris X11

Allen “Old School” Jordan 40 years

Mike Lowrie 45 years

The Master Shipbuilders on this page celebrated anniversaries in June. They were unintentionally omitted from the July issue. Catherine B. Mintz O26 Reginald K. Moore O46 Cleavin B. Mungin O53 Wallace W. Payne Jr. X11 Michael A. Perron O39 Jerry C. Person X11 John A. Phillips Jr. X36 William D. Philpott Jr. X10 Reginald A. Pierce O43 Lynn W. Poland M53 Clarence L. Pope X32 Anthony J. Robinson X31 Willie Rumble Jr. X33 Jacob Ryan Jr. X11 Billy Scott X18 Mark L. Simons O14 Robert M. Smallwood X33 Curtis L. Taylor X18 Jarvis C. Wade X32 Martin A. Walsh Jr. X54 Lee E. Warren X18 Paul J. Weishaar O19 Matthew H. White O43 Ronnie L. White X36 Calvin L. Wilson X71 30 Years Albert N. Amundsen E62 Thomas G. Anthony E82 Connie J. Asby E81 John H. Babb Jr. X33 Curtis W. Babcock X42 Arthur G. Bagley X32 Ralph M. Bailey X18 Matthew P. Bass Jr. O15 David H. Bazemore X18 Ruth B. Bean O58 Robert W. Belcher E42 Susan K. Biron E81 William C. Blomstrom E25 Ralph D. Bowden Jr. X87 George A. Bryant X11 Leslie L. Bryant Jr. M53

Retirements Andrew Boone Jr. X36 Merelyn Britton M53 Albert E. Bush X33 Ralph L. Byrd X89 Thomas C. Cash X42 James E. Chapman X42 David A. Coates E56

Willis Griffin 40 years

Tuson Harvey X87 Robert J. Hills Jr. E83 Eugene E. Hutchens O48 Harold N. Jenkins X32 Patricia R. Jones O53 Daniel R. Keefer X32 Linda H. Kindred X36

Patrick D. Buskee X84 Michael J. Byrum X74 Danny L. Calkins X43 Carl T. Carro X18 Gary M. Carter X88 Keith R. Christensen E82 Gene R. Clayton Jr. X58 Charles D. Cook X18 Madison L. Corbin X42 Ricardo B. Corpuz X43 Frank C. Davis Jr. X71 David E. Dickey III E25 Thomas C. Everett O64 John A. Firgau E84 Charles E. Flemings X36 Vernon A. Floyd O67 Melvin J. Fogg X18 John E. Fritschi E75 David G. Green O26 Mark P. Gresik O37 Anthony L. Griffin O53 Mary W. Haughey O35 Gregory M. Hayes X33 William L. Hayes X80 Glen D. Henley X73 Michael E. Hoffler X32 Randall K. Howard X87 Kenneth T. Hudson X71 Vickie B. Hunt O64 Shelby B. Jackson O21 Douglas E. Jones O43 Marvin L. Jones X88 Steven W. Katona E22 Tracy L. Kelly X11 Robert D. Kennedy E60 Michael D. Konrad E74 David M. Krewson X31 Kimberly P. Lackey E20 Douglas G. Leckey O43 Steven M. Lulofs E64 William J. McCarter O19 Mark C. Miller E75 Mark G. Miller X32

Kathryn M. Monds X76 Barry S. Narron X54 Michael A. Nelson X18 Ronald F. Orme O57 Randy C. Pak X18 Carl M. Parker X11 Dirk A. Parker X18 Russell S. Phaup X36 Ray D. Pierce X43 David E. Powell X10 Robert M. Richardson E82 Marvin B. Richmond O53 Jeffrey M. Robertson E17 Francis M. Rowe E88 David L. Ruark AMSEC Thomas W. Ruzic E33 Brooks J. Ryno O19 Frederick M. Schmidt E82 William B. Scouten Jr. X11 Wayne E. Silver Jr. O09 Douglas W. Smith Jr. E84 Joseph A. Smith Jr. K03 Robert C. Spears X43 Christopher A. Stanley E81 Michael D. Stephenson O64 Ricky R. Stevenson O68 Mark D. Stumpo E83 Christopher W. Vitarelli K89 Terry H. Voltz O50 Melvin H. Wade X32 John K. Walters X88 James E. Whitaker Jr. O14 Brenda A. Williams T55 David W. Woerner X42 James L. Woods X43 Stephen A. Wos E86 James W. Yost Jr. M10 25 Years Robert E. Alliet E17 Carol E. Barnes O51 Brenda J. Barrow E68 Rudolph Bartie Jr. E13

Jacqueline V. Beale E85 Kelly W. Brown O64 Daniel J. Callahan E82 Douglas P. Carlson E83 Clifford J. Carr T54 Vince M. Fleming O27 Melonie D. Fluet T55 Robert W. Holtzer E65 Sherry C. Jeffries E85 Douglas H. Jones E86 Peggy L. Little E83 Mark R. Madler E83 James E. Martin Jr. E82 Terry A. Miller E83 Maria K. Mingee O48 Debra L. Motton E18 Lori A. Pearman T55 Stephen P. Philipps O83 Thomas J. Piperata E81 Mark D. Piskorski E82 Michael D. Pyrtle X88 David M. Riddle X71 Robert R. Ross E86 Michael R. Routon E14 Scottie L. Sanders E56 Joseph H. Schaffer Jr. X10 William B. Surber O43 Robert Svensson AMSEC Judy Tyler O22 Pieter A. Van De Graaf E17 Lynne M. Walker K75 Mark T. Wertz X58 Lois H. Wilhelm E17 Ingrid B. Wright E07 20 Years Robert Frybarger AMSEC George Lamb II AMSEC Jeremy B. West E84

JUNE Jerry L. Lawson Jr. O54 Steven F. Leffel O43 Jennings L. Lyon O27 Charles W. Mason O55 James A. Messick X57 Robert P. Minter E21 Larry D. Moody X18

Clifford L. Price X32 Ralph E. Roberts X70 Timothy B. Saunders X43 Larry E. Scalf E65 Earl H. Slade Jr. O14 Joel D. Stitzel Sr. O11 Lorenzo Waters X31

Gary A. Werlau X82 Willie B. White Jr. M53 Richard V. Wood E45 Edmund S. Zavada E44


KINGS FOR A

DAY Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) will share an exclusive day of fun on Saturday, September 15, at Kings Dominion Park. All NNS and NGES employees, Bayport Credit Union members, along with family and friends are invited to attend. Tickets, now on sale, may be purchased at any Bayport Credit Union location for $22.00 or at eTickets online for $25.00. For eTickets, type KingsDominion.com/ KDNNSB into your browser, then log into the site with the Username: KDNNSB and Password: KDNNSB. Place your credit card order, then print out the ticket(s) and bring them to the park. Only special NNS tickets dated September 15 will be valid for this event. The park will open from 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Tickets for an online offer to add an AllYou-Can-Eat Picnic Lunch is only available until September 11. A limited number of tickets are available for this exclusive day. Purchase tickets early as they may sell out.


Making a Difference Fishing inspires Life Lessons

At 6 a.m., Rodney Huffman prepared bait, rods and reels for the start of the Annual Children’s Fishing Clinic at the James River Bridge Fishing Pier. For the last six years, Huffman and more than a dozen Newport News shipbuilders have volunteered to help Hampton Roads children, ages 8-12, learn the sport of fishing. The free event is sponsored by Newport News Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the Newport News Rotary Club, and the Coastal Conservation Association. Tracey Arzu, the lead for coordinating NNS’s participation, said the children receive t-shirts, hats, fishing poles, and fishing instruction. “After the clinic, they’re allowed to take home their fishing poles,” said Arzu. “They are filled with excitement to have their own pole to catch their own fish.” Huffman values the clinic as a time to potentially have

an impact on the children’s future. “Volunteering with the children provides the opportunity to teach a skill and inspire volunteerism to continue passing on knowledge,” said Huffman. “As these children grow older, they may remember fun childhood memories, like the day they spent learning to fish at the clinic. I truly believe that the four hours of teaching stay with the children longer than just that day. Not only are the children learning, but they’re also having fun.” NNS employee Joseph Maddox Sr., his wife, Hailey, and three sons look forward to the event and memories made each year. “This fishing clinic is a great way for Newport News shipyard families to serve the community,” said Maddox. “This family-oriented event puts smiles on the faces of so many children.” Virginia-class submarine builder Rodney Huffman enjoys teaching fishing skills to Ethan Remington at the Annual Children’s Fishing Clinic. Photo by Dar Deerfield Mook

Yardlines is published 10 times a year for the employees of Newport News Shipbuilding. This issue of Yardlines was produced by: Jordan Bryan, Gina Chew-Holman, Troy Cooper, Mike Dillard, Christie Miller, Eugene Phillips, LaMar Smith, Peter Stern, Susan Sumner and Lauren Ward. Additional writing services by Barlow Communications. Photographs by: Chris Oxley, Ricky Thompson and John Whalen Send comments, questions and story ideas to Yardlines editor: gina.chewholman@hii-nns.com or call 757-380-2627. To stop receiving Yardlines, go to nns.huntingtoningalls.com/Yardlines to unsubscribe. Look for more news at nns.huntingtoningalls.com.

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Yardlines, August 2012  

Yardlines is a monthly magazine published ten times per year featuring Newport News shipbuilders and major events at the shipyard.