Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) successfully undocked USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and moved the ship to an adjacent pier, Feb. 3, as a part of the aircraft carrier’s Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA).
“We overcame a schedule challenge with lower than predicted tides on Wednesday [Feb. 1, the scheduled undocking date], but tides and weather were more than cooperative Friday,” said NNSY Docking Officer Lt. Cmdr. David Schafer. “We do not regularly perform undockings and dockings of carriers, so the success of this evolution is a testament to everyone’s professionalism and dedication to duty.”
As the biggest DPIA work package to be conducted yet across the four public shipyards, workers have been preparing in recent weeks for the undocking.
“The big things are the sea valves on the hull – those are 28- to 48-inch valves – and finishing up tank work. We’re finishing everything for watertight integrity. That’s the big thing for undocking, making sure you have all the holes plugged,” Military Deputy Project Superintendent Cmdr. Greg Burton explained about the focus of efforts prior to undocking.
Following the carrier’s undocking, the Truman project team and ship’s force will continue work on propulsion plant operations and finishing upgrades as part of the carrier’s main mast replacement. After major work is completed, the last several weeks of CVN 75′s DPIA will consist of training, certification, fast cruise, and sea trials.
“The fast cruise is when all the ship’s systems and the ship’s crew are certified and ready to go,” said Burton. “The ship systems and watch teams run ‘as if at sea’ while located pierside.”
The carrier will also conduct a combat systems trial rehearsal with aircraft to ensure new systems integrated as part of the main mast upgrade are completely operational.
Project Superintendent Matt Durkin attributed effective teamwork and communications for the success of current efforts on an availability that requires more than 400,000 man-days for NNSY (not factoring work performed by ship’s company, contractors and alteration installation teams).
Burton added the project team has also benefited from support ship’s company. “We’re grateful for all the support and resources . It’s been a great teaming effort and integrating with the new commanding officer, [Capt. Dee Mewbourne]. He’s really been a positive influence on both the crew and the project team.”
NNSY, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is the oldest industrial facility belonging to the U.S. Navy, and specializes in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, February 10, 2012; Image: navsea