SAN DIEGO – After a long six-hour evolution, USS Russell (DDG 59) left dry dock Jan. 22 and safely moored pierside at the BAE Shipyard in San Diego to await the next step of its 11-month Extended Drydocking Selective Restrictive Availability (EDSRA).
The evolution marked the next step of a historic modernization for one of the Navy’s most critical Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) platforms and a vital step to a return to operational readiness for Russell.
“This is an exciting time for the ship and the crew as we near our return to operational readiness,” said Cmdr. James Harney, Russell’s commanding officer. “Our primary goal during this maintenance period is to restore a warship, a very critical component of the Navy’s BMD mission, to combat readiness. We just took a very big step toward reaching our goal.”
Harney said Russell’s EDSRA is an important step in making the ship ready for combat, one of the primary focus areas of Vice Adm. Thomas H. Copeman III, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Providing warships ready for combat, developing Sailors and training crews to fight and win, and providing warships ready for combat are the subjects of Copeman’s "Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet" which consolidates a set of objectives and policies to maximize surface force readiness by concentrating on warfighting ability, sustainable excellence and wholeness over time.
Bridge watchstanders, deck hands, and engineers worked together to closely monitor the delicate undocking process. All hands were motivated to keep the press during the entire evolution as the reward for a job well done was the removal of another obstacle between the crew and a return to the operational fleet.
“We were really excited to get back in the water tonight,” said Lt. j.g. Jeffrey Brauser, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and a key member of the bridge watchstanding team during the undocking evolution.
Brauser said it is an exciting time to be a member of the Russell crew and take part in revitalizing the ship.
“We’re so close to a return to operational readiness,” said Brauser. “I know the crew is ready to get back out to sea and tackle real-world missions.”
Russell has completed eight months of a scheduled 11-month EDSRA that has made history as the most extensive modernization period in the history of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Totaling more than $75 million and including nearly 300 work items, this availability will ensure one of the Navy’s most critical BMD assets will be ready to resume service as soon as possible.