The tank team for the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) project, comprised of shipyard personnel, Sailors, and contractors, completed work on more than 500 tanks and helped ensure the Bush undocked on time Aug. 29, 2020.


A recent win for Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) came Aug. 29 when America’s Shipyard undocked USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on time. This win was thanks to various shipyard workers, Sailors, and contractors working together to get the job done during its Drydocking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA). One such group whose teamwork was a testament to this milestone was the CVN 77 Tank Team who successfully met requirements and completed work on more than 500 tanks.

“This was one of the largest tank packages we’ve had in recent availabilities,” said Code 300 Tank Area Manager Thomas Wall, the primary NNSY representative in charge of all tank work aboard CVN 77 during the DPIA. “Tanks are one of the most important parts of any vessel, ensuring the ships float. They take a lot of focus and dedication.”

According to Wall, the tank work for the CVN 77 DPIA was completed because of teamwork. “Each individual part of our team took the challenge head-on to meet the mark, working together to ensure everything got done to meet the undocking requirements,” he said. “Everyone had a piece in the puzzle and relied on one another to ensure everything flowed as needed. It’s a process to open up tanks, inspect them, repair or preserve them as necessary, and close them up again, and it requires communication and initiative from each team member. Shipfitters, painters, welders, cleaners, electricians, machinists and more all had to go in and out of the tanks for the required work being completed. Ship’s force, contractors, and shipyard workers all had players on the team and each one of them brought their A-game to the job.”

“This is a major win all around,” said Bush Fire Marshall and Tank Team Zone Manager CWO2 Samuel Diggs. “No matter where we came from, whether it be on the boat, in the shops, or contractors outside the gates, we all shared a goal and worked together to make it happen. Inspections and repairs were handled with care and attention and we were able to get the job done!”

Tank Team Leading Chief Petty Officer (LCPO) APFC Justin Yingling added, “A lot of work went into the tanks onboard the Bush – inspections, repairs, preservations, you name it. In order to make sure the vessel works smoothly, the tanks need to be in perfect working order. And this team made it happen. We couldn’t have done it without our Sailors aboard the Bush, the shipyard workforce, and the contractors. You all came together to make this happen and we’re so thankful for each of your contributions!”

With strategy and teamwork, the tank team also saw a win in keeping weekend tank closures practically down to zero – keeping everything lined up to meet the goal so that the Bush would undock on time.

“This is such a huge win for us and I hope that it sets a precedent for all future availabilities to come,” said Wall. “Getting the tank work completed on time is possible. Each package is different for each vessel but with dedicated team members being the driving force for getting the job done on time, we can make it happen!”

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