NNS President Jennifer Boykin, right, met with some of the shipbuilders who worked as part of the installation team.

Shipbuilders Keep Critical Work on Schedule

Published August 30, 2022

When vendor issues delayed delivery of critical electrical penetrations for Enterprise (CVN 80), X43 and X18 shipbuilders sprang into action to keep work on schedule. Their actions garnered a visit and personal thank you from Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin.

The electrical penetrations for CVN 80 bulkheads were to be installed before the bulkheads were moved into the dry dock.

“We’ve had to scramble to get as many of these penetrations installed as we could because they were showing up in masses a couple of weeks or a few days before we were scheduled to take that bulkhead to the dock,” said Superintendent Joe Loch.

Heather Pearson (X43), who is part of the installation team, created a spreadsheet to help track materials as they came in and where they were in the installation process. Although it seemed overwhelming, the team pulled together to complete the work. “You’ve got to trust your team and know their strengths,” she said.

As they waited for materials to arrive, shipbuilders completed prep work. Once materials were in hand, they worked extended hours and weekends to complete installation work that would normally have taken about a month in just two weeks. On dayshift, X43 shipbuilders installed the penetrations, with X18 tacking and QID inspections. X18 shipbuilders on second and third shift did the brunt of the welding and played an important role in the overall success.

The electrical penetrations, which can weigh as much as 80 pounds each, can be installed in the dry dock, but it is a more cumbersome process. X43 Foreman Scott Mooneyham estimates it takes about four times as much effort to install them in the dry dock versus in the shop.

Boykin and other NNS leaders were grateful for the team’s dedication and success. “The team was up against the deadline. They had to work things more efficiently and quicker than they ever have in the past, and they did an outstanding job,” Loch said.