– USS Makin Island (LHD 8) successfully completed sea trials Sept. 17-22 in preparation for the ship’s special trials inspection in October.
During the six-day underway, Makin Island crew members tested a number of shipboard systems, including communication circuits, damage control systems, navigation systems and the ship’s turning gear. The crew also conducted full-power runs of the ship, ballasting demonstrations and flight operations.
“This underway was critical because the underways we had resulted in a lot of equipment that needed repairs,” said Chief Warrant Officer Robert Morrow, the ship’s maintenance and material officer. “There are just some things you can only do at sea and can’t simulate (in port), so this underway allowed us to get some confidence in those systems and give us a good starting point for the evolutions we have coming up.”
Damage Controlman 1st Class (SW) Joseph Beier, the ER04 and ER09 leading petty officer, said the division worked hard to test and inspect the ship’s Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) and watermist systems.
“Getting those systems up and making sure they’re fully functional to provide fire protection is a major part (of the special trials inspection), because if we can’t provide fire protection to the space, then everything stops,” Beier explained.
Morrow said the sea trials were also intended to help Makin Island Sailors regain their at-sea proficiency levels, and he was impressed with how well the crew performed.
“I think we found our groove again, and we just need to keep pushing on forward so we can present INSURV (Board of Inspection and Survey) with a great ship,” Morrow said.