SAN DIEGO - Sailors aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) departed Naval Base Point Loma July 20 following a six-day deperming evolution in preparation for the ship's scheduled deployment.
Deperming a ship reduces the ship's magnetic signature. Naval Base Point Loma is the only station on the West Coast with magnetic silencing support capability. Lt. j.g. Ryan Haught, New Orleans assistant combat systems officer and Pittsburgh native, served as New Orleans' deperming coordinator.
"We wrapped cables around the ship, sent a lot of power through them, and unwrapped the cables to reduce our signature. From here, we will go on 14 range runs on the degaussing range to see how they did," Haught explained.
The deperming process is a key element in preparation for New Orleans' future taskings.
"We need to reduce the magnetic signature to be ready for deployment and decrease the undersea warfare threat so we can be good to go when we go into hostile waters," said Haught. "After the degaussing runs, we have a couple of short underways before deploying."
Haught praised the crew's effort during the complex process, and said the endeavor would not have been possible without all hands contributing.
"The crew worked extremely hard. This was an all hands effort, and it went smoothly because they came together to get this done," Haught emphasized. "One way or another, everyone contributed. We spent about four days wrapping the ship up in the cables and two days unwrapping them, starting at 7:15 in the morning and ending at around 3:30 in the afternoon every day."
New Orleans is the first San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship to undergo the deperming process at Point Loma. Haught said the planning and execution phases were influenced by the past.
"We looked at what other LPDs had done on the East Coast, and we took a lot of lessons learned from other ships that have already gone through it," said Haught. "We looked at the processes they did, and we tried to make ours better."