USS Howard
"Ready for Victory"
San Diego USS Howard Completes Light-Off Assessment
By Ensign Ethan Franc, USS Howard (DDG 83) Public Affairs Officer
SAN DIEGO - USS Howard (DDG 83) completed its Light-Off Assessment (LOA) following its “Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability period.” The Howard crew demonstrated material readiness and operational proficiency only 20 days after undocking from the “Pride of San Diego British Aerospace Engineering Dry Dock.”

The assessment took place at Continental Maritime San Diego, where Howard was docked prior to its sea trials.

USS Howard left the dry dock on the night of Nov. 24, and immediately began preparations for the LOA. Ships are generally given four weeks to prepare for the assessment following production completion. Howard completed damage control material assessment, engineering mobility ATG (Afloat Training Group) assessments, crew certification, and demonstrated readiness only 17 days out of dock and three days after production completion. The HOWARD crew was not only able to pass the assessment but also received a score of 87.5%. The ship is now able to move directly onto sea trials and onward towards the rest of the training cycle.

LOA is an assessment performed by ATG to test if a ship is able to safely light-off and operate its engineering plant and take the ship to sea. Additionally, the damage control program was tested for satisfactory material condition and its ability to safely handle a casualty onboard. In concordance with this, ATG also analyzed Howard’s training program and manning readiness. The engineers aboard Howard worked long hours and the entire crew and key members of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23 (COMDESRON 23) supported to meet the tight deadline. The dedication of the crew made the difference in LOA success.

The commanding officer of Howard, Cmdr. David Zook, spoke of the effort given by the crew members.

“Howard and DESRON 23 really came together in the spirit of one team, one fight and worked side-by-side to improve material condition and ready Howard for sea. Our team overcame numerous challenges to meet and exceed minimum equipment and returned to the Navy a warship ready for sea.”

Howard now moves on to its next set of evaluations and counts on continuing this success into the New Year and the upcoming training cycle.

USS Howard is part of Destroyer Squadron 23 in San Diego.
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