Pearl Harbor Shipyard executes double undocking
By Katie Vanes
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard successfully undocked USS Hawaii (SSN 776) May 5 and USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) May 7.
Hawaii, in Dry Dock 2 since March 31 as part of her Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV), became the inaugural U.S. Pacific fleet Virginia-class (VACL) submarine to undock at Pearl Harbor. Shipyard workers then rapidly transitioned to Dry Dock 4 to remove Paul Hamilton two days later.
"It was a very challenging evolution conducted over three days undocking Hawaii on Wednesday and returning the dry dock to normal condition in order to undock Paul Hamilton on Friday," said Shipyard Docking Officer Lt. Lorenz Tate. "It was especially challenging to plan the docking in accordance with the first- and second-shift personnel turnover, ensuring a safe maneuver."
Paul Hamilton underwent $20 million of hull preservation, shafting and valve work during the Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA). "The undocking was successful, and the ship is set to finish its availability on schedule May 21," said Capt. Lynn Hampton, head of the surface ship maintenance department at the Shipyard.
Hawaii is undergoing $2.5 million of regular maintenance during its CMAV at the Shipyard. Submarines are routinely dry-docked every 4-6 years to perform work that cannot be completed pier-side. The Hawaii project team went through nearly two years of preparation for VACL docking evolutions.
During the undocking, Navy divers carefully inspected the warship as she lifted off the blocks in the dry dock an extra precaution not normally employed for Los Angeles-class submarines.
"Superintendent Jeff Long and his project team did a superb job in executing the Hawaii CMAV," said VACL Program Manager Cmdr. Leonard Laforteza. "The dry-docking of our first Virginia-class submarine not only validated what we had planned, but also provided us lessons learned that we can apply to future dry-dockings. We are now in a position to redefine some of the areas to improve in that only became evident after executing an actual dry-docking."
According to Laforteza, the Shipyard will perform its first Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) of a VACL submarine in summer 2012.
"The USS Hawaii docking and undocking have great significance for the Shipyard," said Shipyard Commander Rear Adm. (Select) Greg Thomas. "Our future depends, to a large extent, on Virginia-class submarines. By successfully executing these complex evolutions on Hawaii, we are demonstrating our ability to support the Navy's next generation of submarines."
Hawaii, which arrived at Pearl Harbor last July 23, is the first VACL submarine to be homeported in Pearl Harbor and the first commissioned U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name of the Aloha State. Hawaii represents the very latest in submarine technology and capability. She features an advanced combat control system and sensors and improved surveillance, reconnaissance and special operations forces (SEAL) capabilities.
Seventeen of the 30 Pacific-based attack submarines are homeported at Pearl Harbor, and each of these contributes about $17 million a year to the local economy in Hawaii, according to Gov. Linda Lingle.
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is strategically located about two weeks of steam time from potential major regional contingencies in East Asia and roughly seven days closer than sites on the West Coast. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii with a combined civilian and military workforce of over 4,800. The Shipyard has an operating budget of $687 million, of which more than $426 million is payroll for civilian employees. For more information on the Shipyard and Virginia-class submarines, visit www.navsea.navy.mil/shipyards/pearl.
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