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Enterprise’s Reactor department: The unsung (and rarely seen) heroes of the Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.


  • SHUTTLEtheUSS Enterprise (CVN 65) - Sunday, March 6, 2011

    Machinists Mate 2nd Class Corey Feldpausch, assigned to USS Enterprises (CVN 65) Reactor Department, performs a chloride analysis in a reactor training classroom. Photo by MC3 Austin Rooney

    Enterprises Reactor department:The unsung (and rarely seen) heroes of the Navys first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier


  • Happeningsthe Sunday, March 6, 2011Page 2 SHUTTLE

    CO on the scene



    Enterprise Commanding Officer Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, center, assists Sailors from Supply departments S-2 division with stocking-up on food supplies as part of an ongoing ship-wide tour where he will work shifts throughout multiple departments aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65).

    Photo by MCSN Gregory A. Pickett II

    Q: What class of fire is AFFF normally used for?

    A: Class Bravo fires

    ESWS STUDY GUIDEThe Shuttle is published and printed daily underway and weekly in port by the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Media Department, FPO AE 09543-2810. This newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the Department of Defense. Please direct all story ideas, questions and comments to MC3 Peter Melkus at

    SHUTTLEtheUSS Enterprise (CVN 65)

    Public Affairs OfficerLt. Cmdr. Sarah T. Self-Kyler

    Command Master ChiefCMDCM (AW/SW) Keith G. Oxley

    Executive OfficerCapt. Ryan Scholl

    Commanding OfficerCapt. Dee L. Mewbourne

    EditorMC3 Peter D. Melkus

    3-Day Calendar

    Celebrate Womens History Month



    Forecastle: The appropriate pronunciation for this word is foksul. The forecastle is the forward part of the main deck. It derives its name from the days of Viking galleys when wooden castles were built on the forward part of the main deck from which archers and other fighting men could shoot arrows and throw spears.

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    Big E Outlook




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    ?NavyTraditionof the Day

    Today in Naval History1822 - The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) captures four pirate ships in the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • the Page 3Sunday, March 6, 2011

    Enterprise NewsSHUTTLE

    By MC3 Austin RooneyUSS Enterprise Public Affairs

    Reactor Sailors keep Big E ready on arrival

    USS ENTERPRISE, At sea One of the main concerns people have when shopping for a vehicle is its fuel economy. Most people are anxious about refueling their vehicle several times a month due to the rising cost of gas. Compare that to the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), which has only refueled once since 1961. Theoretically, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier can stay at sea for up to 25 years without having to stop for fuel. How is that possible? The answer lies deep inside the hull of the ship, in a series of spaces lined with pipes that can get as hot as 500 degrees, and full of electrical equipment supplying up to 450 volts of electricity. Sailors from the ships Reactor department work in these sweltering, 110-degree spaces to ensure the eight nuclear reactors that supply Enterprise with power continue to operate, even 50 years since they were

    originally installed. We provide the overall continuity of electrical power and propulsion to the ship, said Master Chief Machinists Mate (SW/AW) Rodney Chronister, Reactor departments leading chief petty officer. Without Reactor department, this ship would still be sitting pier side. Reactor department is comprised of Sailors affectionately called nukes from multiple ratings, each of whom had to graduate from a two-year long school in order to become fully qualified to do their job. The school is so vital to the ship that even the ships commanding officer and executive officer, who are aviators, must complete the same training before taking charge. A nukes job consists of constant maintenance, drills, watch standing, continuous training and tests to ensure every Sailor is proficient at their jobs. Many people dont realize how much work we do down here, said Chronister. Its

    very hard to keep up with monthly exams, training, watch standing and still be able to perform your job. They work an average of 80 to 90 hours a week. Without those long hours, however, the ship would not be able to run. The reactors supply power to the ships propellers in order to move it through the water, supply the steam needed to launch aircraft off the flight deck, heat the ships water, and provides electricity to operate every light and electrical appliance used by the crew. This job can be challenging, but its also very rewarding, said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Josh Kinning, a

    maintenance technician in Reactor department. It definitely takes a lot of teamwork to make everything run correctly. Safety is important to everyone here, said Kinning. We all have to wear the proper personal protective equipment when working in our spaces. Staying hydrated is also important. While it may seem that Reactor department runs the ship on its own, Chronister said its the combined effort that accomplishes the mission. No department on the ship is more important than another, said Chronister. Everybody relies on each other, and we get the job done.

    A graphic illustration displayed in the Big E Room aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) depicts how a nuclear reactor operates.

  • the Sunday, March 6, 2011Page 4 SHUTTLE

    Reactor Department

  • the Page 5Sunday, March 6, 2011 SHUTTLE

    Reactor Department

    Photos by MC3 Austin Rooney and MCSN Jared M. King

  • the Sunday, March 6, 2011Page 6 SHUTTLE

    Science & Technology

    By MC3 Peter D. MelkusUSS Enterprise Public Affairs

    Reactor Laboratories division runs the show from behind the scenes






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