MARINETTE, Wis. – Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) Fort Worth (LCS 3) completed builder’s sea trials on Lake Michigan, Oct. 22.
After more than two years, the shipbuilders of Marinette Marine Corporation received one of the ultimate rewards of their trade – watching PCU Fort Worth proceed down the Menominee River and out into Lake Michigan under her own power for builder’s sea trials.
Sea trials are one of the major milestones in the construction and development of naval warships, conducted to prove the operation of the ship and its equipment, as well as completing test procedures at sea.
Marinette Marine conducted all tests, witnessed by personnel from Shipbuilding-Gulf Coast, the Navy’s agent to administer shipbuilding and ship repair contracts with major shipbuilding contractors. This military and civilian organization provides engineering, quality assurance, contract management, and financial services required to streamline how ship-building contractors provide ships to the Navy. Cmdrs. Randy Blankenship and Warren Cupps, commanding officers of PCU Fort Worth Blue and Gold Crews respectively, as well as several crewmembers, were also on hand to observe the testing and gained valuable experience and insight into the ship’s operations.
In many ways, sea trials are a rehearsal for the late-November Acceptance Trials, an extensive week of testing when the shipbuilder demonstrates the ship to the customer – in this case, the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).
The Sailors, who will take PCU Fort Worth to sea next summer, have been extremely busy completing schools across the country and preparing the ship’s organization and plans. In the next few months, the crew will come together in San Diego for the final phase of training prior to moving to the shipyard this winter.
PCU Fort Worth is scheduled to be commissioned in Galveston, Texas Sept. 22, 2012.