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shocker

  • Guest
CVN New-Con Advice
« on: Apr 16, 2012, 06:57 »
To update the few that may remember me (and/or care) I have finally made it through to NPTU. I saw my first boat today since joining the Navy, and even though it is old and out-dated I am starting to think there may be some truth to this "fleet" I've heard about.

On to the topic of the thread:

I'm working on my dream sheet now for orders and from the information given to us it seems the Ford may be starting initial manning. After searching the forum I have seen many negative comments on going to a new ship as a first tour, but few elaborate on the reasons why.

The one post I found that does mention a reason hints at difficulty qualifying supervisory watches due to chiefs and first classes needing the qual ahead of you. Is this a common trend with CVN's before they are commissioned or has anyone else experienced differently?

Besides the difficulty qualifying, and the requirement to qualify over, and over as more equipment becomes available what are other reasons for the negative comments?

Thanks is advance for the responses.  If the Ford needs nubs, I figure I'll have little say in the matter, but it may affect my decision on placing VA or WA as my 2nd location preference for the dream sheet.
« Last Edit: Apr 16, 2012, 06:58 by shocker »

drayer54

  • Guest
Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #1 on: Apr 16, 2012, 08:12 »
To update the few that may remember me (and/or care) I have finally made it through to NPTU. I saw my first boat today since joining the Navy, and even though it is old and out-dated I am starting to think there may be some truth to this "fleet" I've heard about.

On to the topic of the thread:

I'm working on my dream sheet now for orders and from the information given to us it seems the Ford may be starting initial manning. After searching the forum I have seen many negative comments on going to a new ship as a first tour, but few elaborate on the reasons why.

The one post I found that does mention a reason hints at difficulty qualifying supervisory watches due to chiefs and first classes needing the qual ahead of you. Is this a common trend with CVN's before they are commissioned or has anyone else experienced differently?

Besides the difficulty qualifying, and the requirement to qualify over, and over as more equipment becomes available what are other reasons for the negative comments?

Thanks is advance for the responses.  If the Ford needs nubs, I figure I'll have little say in the matter, but it may affect my decision on placing VA or WA as my 2nd location preference for the dream sheet.

Do it!

It has to be a unique experience. The guys I know who did the Bush sure didn't get a raw deal. Plus, you can always look at it and know you were on the original crew!

Offline HydroDave63

Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #2 on: Apr 16, 2012, 08:31 »
That plankholder thing will get you all sniffly at the ship's reunion 20 years later!  :P

Offline Gamecock

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Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #3 on: Apr 16, 2012, 09:19 »
That plankholder thing will get you all sniffly at the ship's reunion 20 years later!  :P

Many, many years ago....young MM3 Gamecock was initial manning for USS GEORGE WASHINGTON.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time onboard and would do it again.  I was a "hot" runner simply by qualifying on time.  That set me up for the officer program I eventually got...and the rest is history.

You'll get to see and do things during testing that you will never see done again in your career.  And the shipyard rocks (well..maybe that's a stretch)

Ohhhh..and being a plankowner is very cool!!!  I still have my plaque somewhere.
« Last Edit: Apr 16, 2012, 09:21 by Gamecock »
“If the thought police come... we will meet them at the door, respectfully, unflinchingly, willing to die... holding a copy of the sacred Scriptures in one hand and the US Constitution in the other."

shocker

  • Guest
Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #4 on: Apr 16, 2012, 09:48 »
Well, I'm glad there are some positive opinions out there. I had gotten my hopes up a little for being on the Ford, I would love to do sea trials on it I hear those can be quite fun on a carrier :-)

My reservations come from not wanting to shut out any opportunities. I finished well enough throughout NNPTC that I have the option to come back to be an instructor - if I qualify EWS. Especially with a wife now, I would like to keep my options open if I decide to re-enlist between NNPTC and NPTU depending on my career and family goals.

Offline Jechtm

Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #5 on: Apr 17, 2012, 12:55 »
Thread jack alert. Got my orders to groton. SSN 780
"Truth is the Daughter of Inspiration;... It is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory."

~Bruce Lee

Offline GLW

Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #6 on: Apr 17, 2012, 10:18 »
...My reservations come from not wanting to shut out any opportunities.....


Reservations,.....meet reality,....

......Many, many years ago....young MM3 Gamecock was initial manning for USS GEORGE WASHINGTON.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time onboard and would do it again.  I was a "hot" runner simply by qualifying on time.  That set me up for the officer program I eventually got...and the rest is history......

I'm just saying,... [coffee]

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline Neutron_Herder

Re: Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #7 on: Apr 17, 2012, 11:49 »
I really liked my time on precommissioning... I was not fresh out of prototype, so my experiences as a sea returnee are significantly different than someone right out of the pipeline.

I'll say this though... Even the people straight out of training knew that plant inside and out by the time we went to sea. Much better than their peers who went to an operational ship.

Just my 2¢.
"If everybody's thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking" - Gen. George S. Patton

HeavyD

  • Guest
Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #8 on: Apr 17, 2012, 11:56 »
One bit of information to keep in mind.  "Initial" manning of any ship/boat happens in waves or stages. The first group of around 20 or so Nukes will be fairly senior personnel.  First Classes and Chiefs, LCDRs, probably a Master Chief and the Reactor Officer. They will go to Design School, then spend time learning about the plant, especially since it will be a new design, and attending every school available.

As far as needing "NUBS", that phase may be at least 18 months down the road.  Also, in the past, the first couple of phases included zero first tour sailors.

MILPERSMAN 1306-802

4.a  "Nuclear Power Trained Personnel. Except for a small number for prototype graduates ordered directly to new construction duty, nuclear power trained personnel must complete at least 12 months in an operational nuclear power billet prior to being assigned to new construction duty. Members who are sea experienced must be qualified for those watch stations that are commensurate with their rate and NEC."

This info isn't meant to dissuade you from a goal.  It is merely meant to make sure you have some good, solid background info moving forward.

Best of luck and thank you for choosing to serve.

Offline Starkist

Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #9 on: Apr 18, 2012, 11:49 »
If you can, DO IT! That sounds like itd  be awesome.

withroaj

  • Guest
Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #10 on: Apr 18, 2012, 12:14 »
The pre-comm experience is a combination of fun and frustration.  I went from a 20+ year old boat to a brand spankin' new one and expected everything to work great.  Keep in mind that new ships, just like new cars, have a run-in phase that takes place mostly in the propulsion plant.  If you go pre-comm, prepare for shift work and Iron Man fast cruises and a TON of local ops before you get to go have real fun on deployment.

shocker

  • Guest
Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #11 on: Apr 20, 2012, 04:02 »
MILPERSMAN 1306-802

4.a  "Nuclear Power Trained Personnel. Except for a small number for prototype graduates ordered directly to new construction duty, nuclear power trained personnel must complete at least 12 months in an operational nuclear power billet prior to being assigned to new construction duty. Members who are sea experienced must be qualified for those watch stations that are commensurate with their rate and NEC."

Thanks for that link HeavyD, I had never seen that before.  Do you know if that 12 month requirement is handled like qualifying if your ship's in the yard?  In other words would it be more likely for a lot of us to be sent to say the Bush for a year and then be a part of the lower level manning of the Ford, or would the best chance to get on the Ford be on a second sea tour if I don't get it this time?

withroaj

  • Guest
Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #12 on: Apr 20, 2012, 06:27 »
I would recommend kicking butt in the pipeline, volunteering for CVN 78, setting ZERO expectations, and letting the chips fall where they may.  CVN 77 (World's Finest USS GEORGE H W BUSH) is still new and shiny, headed into a maintenance availability for some sweet upgrades, and has a good crew with diverse levels of experience and some good leadership in place (last time I was there).  It also has the added bonus of a tried-and-true A4W plant, AND it has the new-construction kinks worked out.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst (wow, I'm spouting Navy cliche), and make sure you have a good time wherever you go.  There's actually some truth to the idea that you get out of your Navy Adventure what you put into it.  You'll get good deals and bad deals, and you'll see undeserving people get hook-ups; but you can actually maintain a decent attitude through the worst and have a good time.

Offline hoopercj

Re: CVN New-Con Advice
« Reply #13 on: Apr 21, 2012, 12:59 »
One bit of information to keep in mind.  "Initial" manning of any ship/boat happens in waves or stages. The first group of around 20 or so Nukes will be fairly senior personnel.  First Classes and Chiefs, LCDRs, probably a Master Chief and the Reactor Officer. They will go to Design School, then spend time learning about the plant, especially since it will be a new design, and attending every school available.

As far as needing "NUBS", that phase may be at least 18 months down the road.  Also, in the past, the first couple of phases included zero first tour sailors.
While your quote is true enough, my experience with precommissioning the bush differs slightly. I was not in the initial wave of manning, but i was one of the first hundred or so to report (roughly second wave) and there were plenty of "nubs" to go around... give or take 1/4 of those reporting before or shortly after me were straight from prototype (well, not really, they went to another carrier to get a basic nuke qual out of the way, but they were still nubs). The first group is also not all first classes and chiefs as far as the enlisted go either, even as an ET there were plenty of seconds showing up from various commands (myself being one of them).

As far as should you do it for your intial tour, your preferences should depend heavily on what you want to get out of the navy. If you want to see the world, one surefire way to do very little of that is to report to a precom CVN during initial manning. If you are looking to minimize your sea time however, pre-com is an excellent way to accomplish this as you'll be looking at probably a ride along for a month or three, and then stick in 1 deployment towards the end of your tour with the associated workups and sea trials (if you dont' transfer to prototype first that is).

To the point of not being able to qualify PPWS, it's fairly rare for someone to qualify PPWS on their first tour or as a second anyways, but I didn't notice a significant difference between the bush and my first ship in that regard. As far as qualifying over and over, there's typically phases of qualification and yes it's a continual process but it is also not as rediculous as it may seem . You aren't really qualifying repeatedly, you're just doing the things that would have needed to be done anyways but couldn't because you didn't own the system or you weren't operating. It's definately better than being a nub for 2 and a half years because you can't do your practical factors for watch. Some of the bad in my opinion included adding additional red tape that you had to go through just to do your job. There's already enough to go through to do maintenance in the first place, but adding in shipyard procedure really complicates the matter from a ships force standpoint. From the position of LPO it was also a heavy workload to stand up the various workcenters / shops, but it did provide ample opportunity for someone to stand out among his/her peers.

All in all, precom is definately not an all around bad deal, but don't expect to go there and live our your days in the land of milk and honey either. As with any tour, there will be ups and downs along the way but it's definately a unique experience and i'm not disappointed that i chose to do it instead of transferring to prototype.

hopefully that feedback was helpful.

 


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