A Renewed USS Germantown Emerges After Conclusion of Successful 2015 Maintenance Availability
SASEBO, Japan – The officers and crew of the dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) are marking the end of strenuous, but much needed, five-month maintenance availability period.
The Ship’s Restricted Availability (SRA) period lasted from Jan. 7 to May 1 and kept the ship pierside.
However, the end result is a renewed ship with improved mission readiness and the ability to execute all operational tasking assigned.
Overall, 1,500 ship’s force jobs and 393 contractor jobs were completed during the five-month period. The total cost of the SRA was $25 million, but it was an investment well spent.
A major contributor during the SRA period was the Corrosion Control Assistance Team (CCAT). The team was comprised of sailors specially trained in the eradication and prevention of rust.
During the SRA period, the team invested more than 1,900 man hours to complete 14 separate preservation projects which covered more than 4,800 square feet of metal. That much preservation will directly contribute to meeting Germantown’s service life and will pay great dividends in the years to come through money saved and improved ship material readiness.
To ensure preservation was accomplished correctly, training was a mandatory requirement before any crew member could check-out CCAT corrosion tools. With the training comes free access to a vast array of advanced equipment and tools which make the work more efficient and effective. Overall, 143 classroom training sessions were held and more than 9,500 tools were checked out for use on board the ship.
Other improvements and upgrades to Germantown during SRA included a complete resurfacing of the flight deck, a refurbishing of the well deck overhead, and a complete overhaul of one of four diesel engines.
“Managing and deconflicting the jobs was big contributor to completing the availability on time,” said Lt. Dave Smith, the ship’s 1st Lieutenant. “For example, 76 of the helicopter tie-downs on the flight deck were discovered out of specification just days prior to commencing the SRA. It took coordination between the flight deck resurfacing and well deck overhead jobs to ensure the tie-downs could be replaced without impeding those jobs.”
A fly away team from USS Frank Cable (AS 40) was sent to assist Ship Repair Facility Sasebo with the replacement of the helicopter tie-downs and ultimately kept the schedule intact in order to complete the SRA on time.
“I am very proud of all the hard work that the crew and maintenance community accomplished during this availability, the transformation is absolutely amazing,” said Cmdr. Gary Harrington, the ship’s commanding officer. “It was difficult to see the ship moored for an extended period of time, but the dividends were readily apparent with the successful completion of the engineering light-off assessment, engineering facilities certification and sea trials. The bar for ship’s material readiness has been raised and I have a crew eager to get back to sea on deployment later this summer.”