NIMITZ RETURNS TO NORMAL SHIP STANDARDS
By MCSN Renee Candelario
Sailors aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) are scheduled to no longer don the issued personal protection equipment (PPE) and Forces Afloat badges and return to general ship uniform standards Friday. With the shift, starting Saturday, Sailors will also be required to wear their service dress uniform while on watch accordance to Navy uniform regulations, and regular ship standards.
This transition is a substantial sign of advancement toward getting the ship back to a fully-functioning operational status.
“We are coming out of a maintenance environment and going into an operational environment,” said Nimitz’ Command Master Chief William Lloyd-Owen. “The nature of what we do as a ship is always an industrial environment so safety is always paramount, but Nimitz is becoming operational again.”
Nimitz is getting back into the normal swing of things after being in Docking Planned Incremental Availability for almost a year. With a long time since Nimitz has been to sea, Sailors are encouraged to focus on doing their primary job for which they joined the Navy.
“This transition is a mental thing for the crew,” said Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Porton, Nimitz’ Industrial Hygiene Officer. “We are no longer wearing the PPE everyday, so Sailors are transitioning their mindset from grinding decks all day long and painting back to their workstations and preparing themselves to get underway again. This transition should make a Sailor feel more like a Sailor.”
The hard work Nimitz Sailors have done the last year since the ship has been in dry dock will now pay off.
“Now is the time when it pays dividends and now is the time where we get to reap what we have sown,” said Lloyd-Owen. “Now is the time where we operate as an aircraft carrier and a global warship.”
To accomplish the task of gathering all PPE, Nimitz’ safety department will be collecting all hard hats
and safety glasses that are no longer needed in a tri-wall box located at the pier on Friday.
“There are still areas on the ship that will require hard hats and safety glasses,” said Porton. “Anywhere where there was PPE required before there will still be PPE required now.”
Nimitz’ switch from Navy working uniforms to dress blues for all quarterdeck watches and color detail is to maintain Nimitz’ general ship standards and appearance.
“A professional appearance indicates a professional crew,” said Lloyd-Owen. “If we take the time to take care of ourselves, as far as the way we present ourselves, it’s indicative of a crew that takes care of everything.”
“A professional appearance indicates a professional crew. If we take the time to take care of ourselves, as far as the way we present ourselves, it's indicative of a crew that takes care of everything.”
-Command Master Chief William Lloyd-Owen