POINT LOMA, Calif -
The crew of USS New Orleans (LPD 18) successfully completed magnetic treatment (DEPERM) in Point Loma, Calif on 18 July.
The procedure reduces the ship’s magnetic signature by charging, or “flashing," the ship’s hull with electricity, minimizing its vulnerability to magnetic mines.
With assistance from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Norfolk, the crew spent the four days wrapping the ship with 96 cables. All hands were involved in long days of pulling cables from the pier to the flight deck, mid ships, and foc’sle, then again from the water side of the ship with assistance from Navy divers.
“This was a pretty unique evolution,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Nick Fredrickson of NOLA’s Deck Department. “Most of the crew had never done this and it made for an interesting challenge.”
The ship then underwent the deperming (energized cable portion) treatment for one day, and then took two more days to unwrap the ship. The process is extremely delicate due the immense amount of electrical current going through the ship.
“The ‘Big Easy’ was the first ship in the LPD 17 class to undergo deperming on the west coast,” said Lt. j.g. Ryan Haught, officer in charge of the deperming evolution. “Only one other ship of the class had done it previously and that took place on the east coast.”
After the deperming was completed, the ship got underway in order to verify, through measurements over an underwater magnetic sensor range, that the ship meets magnetic signature limits for world-wide operations.
“The crew put in an incredible effort man-handling the heavy cables around the ship, which is huge,” said Cmdr. Dennis Jacko, the ship’s new commanding officer. “In the end we now know the ship has been made that much more survivable and ready to meet the threat when we deploy.”
NOLA left Point Loma after the successful evolution for further sea trials in preparation for its upcoming deployment later this fall.
New Orleans is a San Antonio-class ship designed and built to fight. Its warfighting capabilities include a state-of-the-art command and control suite, substantially increased vehicle lift capacity, a large flight deck, and advanced ship survivability features that enhance its ability to operate in the unforgiving littoral environment.
New Orleans provides each naval expeditionary force with greatly enhanced operational flexibility. The ship normally operates as part of an Amphibious Task Force - the "workhorse" of a three-ship Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) - organized to accomplish a broad range of military objectives; or as an element of a "Split-ARG" that has the ship detached and operating as a single ship, supporting lower-risk operations. This ship's mission flexibility fully expands the ARGs area of influence by providing an improved capability to cover multiple areas of responsibility, while responding to several crises simultaneously.