By Lt. j.g. Alanna Strei, Naval Surface Forces U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
– USS Rushmore (LSD 47) completed the first major milestone of her Extended Docking Phased Maintenance Availability (EDPMA) Oct. 25, when it successfully transitioned from berthing in a dry dock to tying up next to a pier.
USS Rushmore is the second Dock Landing Ship (LSD) on the West Coast to undergo EDPMA, and the fourth LSD in the fleet. EDPMA is a scheduled mid-life maintenance availability period meant to ensure a ship will reach the full length of its predicted service life. “The Rushmore is progressing as scheduled,” said Capt. Todd Hooks, [insert official title]. “The hard work of her Sailors and the shipyard resulted in the achievement of this first major milestone.”
All 12 ships of the LSD 41 and LSD 49 classes are scheduled to undergo a similar mid-life upgrade over the next five years to ensure the class remains capable and mission ready through 2038.
“These ships require upgrades and life cycle extensions to maintain maximum utility and bridge the gap between one generation of vessel and the next,” said Hooks. “In almost every instance, it is considerably more cost-effective to upgrade a current vessel than it is to build a new one. These modernization efforts allow the Navy to extend service life on these worthy assets, saving the taxpayers money.”
Maintenance is conducted by both Rushmore Sailors are enjoying their time in port, but they too credit the current success of the ship’s schedule to hard work. “The crew has done a great job stepping up to the plate and keeping to the timeline,” said Lt. j.g. Cole Smith, EDPMA coordinator. “They have worked well with the shipyard to ensure all discrepancies are being fixed and no corners are cut, and that is why things are going so smoothly.”
Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Brian Finman, acknowledged the importance of this major event, but reminds crewmembers to keep looking forward and planning ahead.
“I was very pleased to take command of the Rushmore just in time for such an important event,” said Finman. “We’ll remain working hard to make sure her progress continues to be as smooth and successful as it has been.”
Many Sailors are pleased to be out of dry dock, and see this as the first of many times their hard work will pay off during the EDPMA.
“It’s great to see that the planning and coordinating we’ve been doing as the Quality Assurance team has really paid off,” said Engineman 2nd Class Mitchell Perezdelgado of Orlando, Fla. “Knowing that we’re doing it right the first time leaves you with a really good feeling.”
Rushmore Sailors do not spend all of their time working, though. “A lot of our Sailors are really using their free time to improve their lives,” said Command Master Chief Foy Harris. “They’re studying for their SATs, volunteering, and even taking college courses. No one is letting this opportunity go to waste.”
For more information on the USS Rushmore, please visit their website, http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lsd47/Pages/default.aspx , or fan them on Facebook by searching “USS Rushmore LSD 47”.