SAN DIEGO NAVAL STATION (Dec 17, 2012) – The guided missile destroyer, USS MILIUS (DDG 69), reached a major milestone toward sustained combat readiness today, as she entered an Extended Drydocked Selective Restricted Availability (EDSRA) period at BAE Shipyard in San Diego, Ca.
The planned maintenance period is part of the DDG Modernization program and will focus on mid-life upgrades to hull, mechanical and engineering systems to enable the 16 year-old ship to meet her expected 35 year service life. MILIUS’ crew will work alongside contractors and shipyard personnel to accomplish the overhaul, which is expected to last through August 2013. MILIUS will receive upgrades including the Integrated Bridge System, Single Central Control Station, Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System and a bow-strengthening modifications among several others. MILIUS also plans to be the first ship to receive the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) network, the follow-on to the current Integrated Shipboard Network System (ISNS) aboard ships today.
MILIUS’ Commanding Officer, CDR Steve Shedd, explained the importance of the maintenance period to meet the Navy’s long term goals. “These modifications and upgrades are crucial in getting MILIUS to her expected service life,” he said. “The crew has done a magnificent job maintaining the ship over the past 20 months, but it’s time for some heavy-duty work to upgrade systems and keep the ship mission ready for years to come.”
Planning for the multi-staged overhaul began over two years ago within Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), and has required collaboration between NAVSEA, BAE, Bath Iron Works (BIW), Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), and MILIUS’ leadership and crew.
Over the last 12 months, the SWRMC led Integrated Process Team Development (IPTD) construct brought all stakeholders together with periodic conferences aligned with key planning milestone dates. “The planning process and coordination has been very positive,” said LT Cameron Norris, MILIUS’ coordinator for the overhaul. “Getting all the key entities together early in the planning greatly helped with expectations and teamwork.”
On MILIUS deckplates, the results of this extensive planning can be witnessed first-hand. In mid-November, MILIUS Sailors began a massive offload, which required the removal of all gear from the ship. This included personal items, office equipment, food, repair parts, tools and damage control equipment.
Each MILIUS Sailor played a key role in the offload. “The move-off process has been a huge undertaking,” commented AEGIS Fire Controlman Third Class (Surface Warfare) Sarah Mercer. “It’s taken a lot of planning and effort on everyone’s part, but it’s important to clear the way for all the maintenance about to happen,” she added.
MILIUS will remain at BAE Shipyard through June 2013.