US Navy sees “no huge impact” from carrier Kennedy fire and hotwork halt

by Michael Fabey

The temporary construction hotwork halt aboard aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) following the 20 July fire at Newport News Shipbuilding is a general safety measure meant to ensure the US Navy (USN) and shipyard have all the right protocols in place, according to James Geurts, assistant secretary of the navy for research, development and acquisition.

“With the hotwork on JFK ( John F. Kennedy ), that is more of a ‘stand down and make sure we’ve got all the procedures in place’ (measure),” Geurts told reporters on 30 July during a telephone press conference.

Following a fire on 20 July, hotwork was halted on aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, which was launched in December from a dry dock in Newport News Shipbuilding. (Huntington Ingalls Industries)

Following a fire on 20 July, hotwork was halted on aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, which was launched in December from a dry dock in Newport News Shipbuilding. (Huntington Ingalls Industries)

Regarding what such a halt could mean for the programme, he said, “I don’t see a huge impact”.

He said, “They had some hotwork sparks (that were) put out by the fire watch.”

However, he also noted, “There’s no such [thing] as a small fire. They’re all critical.”

One case in point is the 12 July fire that burned for days on amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6). The USN is still assessing the long-term damage to the vessel.

The USN now, Geurts pointed out, is “ensuring that everybody’s got the right procedures and we have the right procedure in place and the right equipment” with a “renewed focus that highlights day-to-day activity”.

He said working on ships presents a “challenging environment” for operations or for maintenance. “There’s always a risk. Just one of the risky things we do day in and day out. We’ve got to stay on top of it.”

Regarding the Bonhomme Richard

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-navy-sees-no-huge-impact-from-carrier-kennedy-fire-and-hotwork-halt

The temporary construction hotwork halt aboard aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) following t...

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