SAN DIEGO – The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) departed BAE Systems Shipyard for Naval Base San Diego after a five-month planned maintenance availability (PMA), Dec. 3.
The “Big Easy” spent the summer and fall undergoing extensive maintenance period, receiving more than $16 million in repairs and upgrades to equipment and systems throughout the ship.
This availability period provided the opportunity to do extensive work on major systems not otherwise possible when the ship is in an operational status.
"After enduring a rigorous eight-month deployment, the extensive work conducted in the main machinery rooms will ensure we are ready to meet max engineering readiness for any future operations,” said Ensign Mike Siordia, New Orleans' main propulsion assistant.
Other major projects completed during the 2014 PMA include software upgrades and repairs to the stern gate.
“This yard period was highly successful,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Mahoney, New Orleans’ chief engineer. “The collaborative efforts between the port engineer, project manager, BAE and ship’s force will allow us to sustain worldwide operations well into the future,”
Ship’s force established several Tiger Teams responsible for painting and the installation of lagging and deck coverings. The crew took it upon themselves to incorporate the ship’s namesake when refurbishing highly trafficked spaces.
“The crew takes a lot of pride in our ship and wanted to show the New Orleans spirit visually throughout the ship vice just on the faces and hearts of the crew,” said Senior Chief Personal Specialist (SW/AW) Alexandria Dyer.
The ship utilized three tugs for the two mile transit through San Diego Harbor. Although out of the shipyards, the ship still has two more months of planned maintenance before beginning light off assessment and sea trials.
Light off assessment will ensure engineers can safely start and operate the plant. The planned events will include a program management review to ensure the ship is in accordance with all governing documents and a safety walk-through to make sure the material readiness of the main spaces can support the safe light-off for sea trials.
“The Sailors of New Orleans are glad to be back at the Naval Base,” said Capt. Douglas C. Verissimo, New Orleans’ commanding officer. “We look forward to the challenge of getting the ship ready for our first operational test underway at sea trials.”