EASY TO GO DEAF On a US Navy Aircraft Carrier

LOUD!

150914-N-QH848-013 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 14, 2015) An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Rampagers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is underway participating in a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for a future deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class A. A. Cruz/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 14, 2015) An F/A-18C Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is underway participating in a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for a future deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class A. A. Cruz/Released)

IT’S NOISY WHEN AIRCRAFT ENGINES ARE GOING AT HIGH POWER A HUNDRED FEET FROM YOU OR LESS.

According to Purdue University Noise Level Comparisons 
*Jet take-off (at 25 meters) is 150 decibels which will usually cause eardrum rupture (without ear protection).
*The noise on an aircraft carrier deck is 140 decibels
*Military jet aircraft take-off from aircraft carrier with afterburner at 50 ft is 130 decibels.

*Oxygen torch is 121 decibels.  This causes real pain. More important to know, 120 decibels is 32 times as loud as 70 decibels according to Purdue University’s study (at the link above)

150902-N-AO823-240 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 2, 2015) The Combat Systems Department aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) fires the ship's 5-inch gun. Bulkeley is underway for Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), a series of training scenarios designed to certify the Harry S. Truman Strike Group as a deployment-ready fighting force capable of completing operations in overseas theaters. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 2, 2015) The Combat Systems Department aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) fires the ship’s 5-inch gun. Bulkeley is underway for Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), a series of training scenarios designed to certify the Harry S. Truman Strike Group as a deployment-ready fighting force capable of completing operations in overseas theaters. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht/Released)

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association:

“Loud noise can be very damaging to hearing. Both the level of noise and the length of time you listen to the noise can put you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Noise levels are measured in decibels, or dB for short. The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. Sounds that are louder than 85 dB can cause permanent hearing loss. The hearing system can be injured not only by a loud blast or explosion but also by prolonged exposure to high noise levels.”

details at their website here:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

 

151026-N-AX638-785 AEGEAN SEA (Oct. 25, 2015) An AV-8B Harrier lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) while participating in Egemen 2015, Oct. 26, 2015. Egemen is a Turkish-led and hosted amphibious exercise designed to increase tactical proficiencies and interoperability among participants. Kearsarge, deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tyler Preston/Released)

AEGEAN SEA (Oct. 25, 2015) An AV-8B Harrier lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) while participating in Egemen 2015, Oct. 26, 2015. Egemen is a Turkish-led and hosted amphibious exercise designed to increase tactical proficiencies and interoperability among participants. Kearsarge, deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tyler Preston/Released)

Men and women who have been aboard aircraft carriers and other warships  in the present day and in the past have told me how loud it is. In all my reading about World War Two, I come across mentions of noise constantly. Partly it was the noise of the guns in World War Two. Men stuffed cotton in their ears and the RN and USN issued various types of earplugs although I’m not sure how effective they were.

In the Royal Navy, men working in the engine room but beeswax in their ears according to the tour guide on the HMS Belfast. He said at full speed the noise in the engine room exceeded 150 decibels which is enough to make you deaf after prolonged exposure.

While she is undergoing her long refit at the Newport News shipyard, sailors are working on noise reduction techniques of different types.

The following is an article from the US Navy by  Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Blake:

Lincoln Takes on Noise-Induced Hazards

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) — As simple as it may sound, noise is one of the most common health hazards to Sailors in the Navy. Whether serving aboard an aircraft carrier during its Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) or conducting operations in the middle of the Gulf, Sailors are exposed to noise every day.

According to the Navy Safety Center, in 2014 noise-induced hearing loss was the Navy’s number one occupational health expense. The resulting consequences to the Navy from hearing loss include lost time, reduced productivity, military disability settlements and expenses for medical treatment, such as hearing aids.

During RCOH, Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are taking the lead in minimizing noise-induced hazards. A group of Lincoln Sailors assigned to the Deck Department have been trained to apply a special coating of paint on the bulkheads of some of the ship’s common areas. This paint is designed to reduce noise and vibration within these spaces and will be evaluated for future use.

“The Navy has taken steps forward to reduce noise levels inside the ship in preparation for the arrival of the Joint Strike Fighter squadrons,” said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Dunn, assistant safety officer aboard Lincoln. “The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been working on ways to reduce the impact from flight deck noise on decks below.”

The Lincoln’s noise abatement paint team is leading the way in helping to meet the ONR goals of more noise reduction on board ships.

“One of the ways to provide some noise reduction is to coat structural and joiner bulkheads with a special paint that has been reported to reduce noise levels by about five to seven decibels (dB),” Dunn added. “This is a significant reduction. Based on the way we measure noise, about every three dB doubles the noise level.

ONR (Office of Naval Research) will come out and will determine the effectiveness of the coatings that Lincoln Sailors have applied in a majority of the compartments just below the flight deck.”

The spray the team uses is a sound and vibration dampening paint specifically designed for marine applications.

“It’s more coating than a paint. It has properties that will dampen the vibrations and noise that transmit through metal bulkheads,” said Ens. Joel Newberry, Lincoln’s assistant first lieutenant. “The coating is being applied to living and working spaces that are directly affected by the high-level noise caused by flight deck operations.”

The ensign said he hopes this procedure will help improve living conditions on the ship for the benefit of the crew.

“This procedure helps us make those areas safer and healthier for future Lincoln Sailors,” he added, referencing the decreased noise levels.

Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Va.

Lincoln is the fifth Nimitz-class ship to undergo RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet, and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/

 

151002-N-UY653-105 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 2, 2015) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighter assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 makes an arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). The F-35C Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force is aboard Dwight D. Eisenhower conducting follow-on sea trials. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Utah Kledzik/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 3, 2015) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighter assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 prepares to take-off from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). The F-35C Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force is currently conducting follow-on sea trials aboard the Eisenhower. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anderson W. Branch/Released)

Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/