SAN DIEGO - USS Makin Island (LHD 8) completed a nine-day scheduled sea trials on Jan. 17, after coming out of a 13-month Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA).
During the nine-day underway period, Makin Island crew members tested a number of shipboard systems, including communication circuits, damage control systems, navigation systems and propulsion plant. The crew also conducted full-power runs of the ship, ballasting demonstrations and flight operations.
Sea trials gave the ship an opportunity to operate and test equipment as designed following a lengthy maintenance period. It was also a chance to see if the repairs were done correctly, according to Capt. Alvin Holsey, Makin Island's commanding officer.
"After a 13-month maintenance period, the crew performed exceptionally well," said Holsey. "We had a few growing pains, but their focus remained on executing safe and precise evolutions."
Makin Island's Executive Officer, Capt. Michael S. Feyedelem, expressed the PMA provided an opportunity to upgrade existing ship systems, repair damaged or degraded equipment and bring the ship back to a level commensurate with a brand new ship.
"The maintenance period allowed significant repairs and design changes to be made to the ship's exhaust stacks as well as numerous other upgrades to keep Makin Island at the forefront of operational capability," said Feyedelem.
Inspectors observed Makin Island crew members as they conducted in-port and at-sea demonstrations and checks, of critical shipboard systems.
"I think the more practice we get the better," said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Patrick J. Webb, Makin Island crew member. "Most of the crew has never been out to sea, so doing these drills gave us a taste of what to expect when we're out on deployment. I'd rather go through trial and error during a drill now, then not knowing what to do during a real casualty."
Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system. By using this unique propulsion system, the Navy expects over the course of the ship's lifecycle, to see fuel savings of more than $250 million, proving the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation.
The ship's hybrid-electric propulsion system is designed to run on auxiliary propulsion motors at low speeds and on gas turbines at higher speeds. This technology allows the Department of the Navy to reduce the use of fossil fuels that leads to reduced carbon emissions and cleaner air.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.