Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sailor Leaves His Mark On USS Bush

One Sailor in Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) George H.W. Bush's (CVN 77) aviation intermediate maintenance department (AIMD) is leaving a lasting mark on America's newest aircraft carrier. Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd Class Aaron M. Lapre serves AIMD as the ship's engraver.Whether it's an officer's or chief's name tag or the sign on the outside of a hatch that tells which office is inside, the work of the PCU Bush engraver can be seen everywhere in and around the ship. "A job can take 30 seconds or up to four hours to complete, depending on the size and material. We can engrave aluminum, brass, plastic, wood and glass." Lapre has engraved parking signs, name tags, trophy plaques and door signs, but door signs might be his most important contribution to the ship. "If there is a fire and a lot of smoke, it is very important that every door is labeled," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW) John Vigilant. "[The labels] allow us to do our job a lot better."
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)
Lapre said the laser engraver he uses makes the job virtually foolproof. "The engraving process is fully computerized. The computer has many templates programmed into it, and I use a program to input text and select the proper settings to get the job done." Lapre said he enjoys his work aboard George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), currently under construction at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard. "Some of what I do today may still be in use upon the decommissioning of the ship many years from now. To me, that is really cool."

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