Newport News Shipbuilding Installs Final Mast Section on USS Abraham Lincoln

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Story Number: NNS140807-23Release Date: 8/7/2014 8:16:00 PM

From Newport News Shipbuilding and USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) marked a major milestone in her refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) Aug. 5.

Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), installed the final section of the ship's main mast, the 38-foot upper mast section.

The last section of the mast, weighing 33 tons, was lifted in sequence by two cranes. The shipyard's 310-ton gantry crane lifted the mast section onto the flight deck, and then a mobile crane on the flight deck lifted the section into its final position on the mast. The mast, when erected, is too tall for the 310-ton gantry crane to travel over, so the mobile crane completed the lofty installation.

During refurbishment, the original round mast pole was removed and replaced with a modified, tapered square pole to increase strength and keep electrical piping systems enclosed for survivability purposes. The square pole is also larger, which allows for waist high rails and easier access to all areas by internal ladders.

"Today marks another important moment in the RCOH of USS Abraham Lincoln," said Chris Miner, Newport News' vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs. "The installation of the ship's mast is an accomplishment that brings the carrier one step closer to completing its complex overhaul-a milestone for both the shipbuilders and the ship's crew, who work diligently together to improve and upgrade this massive vessel. Once complete, the ship will be able to serve the Navy another 25 years."

Lincoln's RCOH is 45 percent complete and on track for delivery in October 2016.

"The ceremony today highlights the workmanship, ingenuity and tenacity of the shipyard workers, Sailors, and contractors who have poured their hard work and labor into RCOH," said Abraham Lincoln's Commanding Officer, Capt. Karl O. Thomas. "I am inspired by the dedication of every member of the integrated team and their commitment to getting Lincoln back to the fight."

Lincoln arrived at Newport News in March 2013 to begin the RCOH process. During the carrier's RCOH, the shipyard refuels the ship's reactors, paints the ship's hull, modernizes systems and performs a complete recapitalization of the entire ship. This process produces a recapitalized carrier capable of supporting current and future warfare doctrine. Once the RCOH is complete, Lincoln will continue to operate in the U.S. Navy fleet for another 25 years.

Huntington Ingalls Industries designs, builds and manages the life-cycle of the most complex nuclear and conventionally powered ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. For more than a century, HII's Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII also provides engineering and project management services expertise to the commercial energy industry, the Department of Energy and other government customers. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 39,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit

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