– USS Germantown (LSD 42) Sailors are riding high after the successful completion of recent inspections, but they are not resting – they are looking forward to getting back underway.
Germantown recently completed an extended scheduled maintenance period, followed by a series of rigorous inspections that culminated in a visit from the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) in September. The Board awarded the Germantown the passing grade of “satisfactory.”
“We went through a lot of big inspections, one right after another,” said Engineman 2nd Class Justin Bymaster. “Everyone worked together to pass, and it was worth it because the ship works perfectly and we showed that.”
Germantown was the first ship on the West Coast to go through the Dock Landing Ship (LSD) mid-life maintenance process, during which the ship was refitted with upgraded technology and systems. Many of the systems, including the machinery control system and reverse osmosis water purification systems, were relatively new, and Sailors worked hard to achieve and demonstrate total proficiency.
The Germantown is the third LSD to ever complete this extensive modernization period, which began in Oct. 2008, and according to Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Brian DeLaney, their success was due to the hard work of the crew and support from the waterfront.
“Our sister LSDs - Comstock, Rushmore, and Pearl Harbor - sent us bodies and helped material wise, and that was key,” said DeLaney. “Their contributions helped the fundamental effort our crew has been putting in for months. Now, the ship looks beautiful, and everything works. I cannot praise this crew enough.”
Shipboard cooperation was also vital to their success. Some Sailors formed “tiger teams,” a common practice where Sailors are pulled from different divisions to perform tasks outside of their normal duties. Germantown’s tiger teams renovated and preserved spaces throughout the ship.
“The tiger teams preserved and cleaned five crew berthings, 15 fan rooms and 20 passageways,” said Quarter Master Chief Petty Officer Kevin Ortega. “Their work totaled more than 200 man hours and saved the command over $100,000 in contract costs.”
With a successful INSURV under their belt, Germantown Sailors are excited to get back underway.
“The ship looks excellent,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Christen Erdmann. “We went through a lot of hard work, and we are all ready and excited to get back to sea.”
The crew will have that opportunity very soon – their upcoming schedule includes a Jan. 2011 deployment, including a hull swap with the USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) in March 2011. For more news from the USS Germantown (LSD 42), please visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lsd42