YOKOSUKA, JAPAN – Braving inclement weather, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) got underway Monday in an effort to increase their readiness posture. On Thursday the order was given to suspend Lassen’s Ship Restricted Availability (SRA) period and prepare to get underway for further tasking.
With just three days to prepare the ship for at sea operations, Lassen was brought out of a condition of extensive maintenance and upgrade occurring over the past two months while in port for SRA. Lassen’s crew teamed up with workers from Ships Repair Facility Yokosuka (SRF) and Sumitomo Heavy Industries to accomplish the massive undertaking.
Personnel worked around the clock removing over three tons of scaffolding surrounding the ship, rapidly replacing the non-skid coating on the flight deck, patching holes in the hull and deck, applying fresh coats of paint including for the entire mast, removing hundreds of yards of cabling and vent ducting supplying the ship with services from the pier, and restoring watertight integrity to the ship. Multiple trucks and cranes busily rolled on and off the pier loading Lassen’s helicopter hanger bays with integral parts needed to complete maintenance.
Vital to defense, the Mk 45 5-inch Gun, Mk 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, and 25mm gun mounts were also re-installed during this three-day period.
Restoring the ships habitability was also essential prior to getting underway. During the SRA, crew members lived on a nearby barge while renovations were conducted to Lassen’s galley and berthing areas. Ensuring functionality was returned and supplies restocked, the ship received brand new galley equipment and mattresses for berthing. The Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) committee also funded new gym equipment for the crew to maintain peak physical condition.
Over two months since Lassen’s previous underway, the crew was eager to get back to sea. “I joined the Navy to be at sea, not stuck in the shipyard,” said Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Alejandro De La Vega from Patterson, New Jersey. In a testament to their hard work and dedication, Lassen accomplished all necessary preparations for sea and departed Yokosuka safely.
Lassen joined ongoing Operation Tomodachi (friend) relief efforts led by The USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group including USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Preble (DDG 88), and the combat support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10) along with support from Seventh Fleet ships USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Mustin (89), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Cowpens (CG-63), and USS Shiloh (CG-67).
Lassen is underway in support of Operation Tomodachi. Lassen is assigned to Destroyer Squadron Fifteen (DESRON 15) and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.