GW Welcomes Nearly 600 New Shipmates From Kitty Hawk

USS George Washington (CVN 73) Sailors welcomed nearly 600 new shipmates Aug. 12 as former USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Sailors reported to their new ship.

Representatives from nearly every shipboard department manned tables in the ship’s hangar bay, streamlining what could have been a very time-consuming check-in process. GW sponsors were on hand to meet the new Sailors and guide them through the line, also helping to fill out necessary paperwork.

Between 150-200 Sailors were able to check in each day, thanks to the “assembly line,” as Senior Chief Personnel Specialist (SW/AW) Daniel Sanchez, GW’s administrative department’s leading chief petty officer, called it.

“It’s geared towards getting Sailors properly checked in as quickly as possible,” Sanchez said.

He said that Sailors were able to complete about 90 percent of the check-in process, as well as meet members of the GW chain of command and some new shipmates, in less than an hour.

“Each department, especially those that gained Sailors, played a huge role in making this successful,” Sanchez said. “However, [our] admin department plays the lead. Sailors have to come through us to ensure that all their paperwork is in line and to get them entered into the ship’s [administrative] system.”

Sanchez said that coordination was the biggest challenge.

“You have so many moving pieces that need to fit together just for one single event,” he said. “You could compare it to planning a concert — you have to book the band, print the tickets, rent a venue and set up chairs. There are a lot of different things to plan for.”

Administrative Department Sailors had a chance to prepare soon after the ship arrived in San Diego in late May. More than 70 new Sailors checked in May 31.

“It did wonders as far as planning,” Sanchez said. “It was definitely a good learning experience for us. We were able to take some information and use it toward this actual cross-deck. There were lessons learned and we got a very good idea of how to make this bigger transition run smoother.”

With a complete crew on board, GW is getting ready to head to Japan as the Navy’s only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier.

Dave Reynolds (NNS)

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