USS Russell
"Strength in Freedom"
SAN DIEGO-- The guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) departs for an independent deployment to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Middle East. While deployed the crew of more than 300 Sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23, will conduct presence operations and goodwill activities with partner nations. Higgins is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities; designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group. (U.S. Navy Photo by Melissa K. Russell/Released)
USS RUSSELL Shipboard Preservation

Throughout the duration of USS RUSSELL’s 2016-2017 Chief of Naval Operations Selected Restricted Availability, RUSSELL Sailors have diligently completed extensive preservation and repair work normally assigned to contracted tradesmen. These tremendous efforts have served to maintain RUSSELL’s self-sufficiency while building the level of knowledge and maintenance skills of the crew.

The largest ship’s force work items have involved repairs and preservation to RUSSELL’s engineering spaces and weather decks, areas that are consistently exposed to factors which degrade protective measures and have caused corrosion over the ship’s twenty two year lifespan.

In the ship’s main engine rooms, the Sailors of MP division inspected the firemain system using a self-constructed air fitting and gauge. This process began with the removal of thermal insulation and subsequent isolation and drainage of the firemain line. Pressurized air was then introduced to the pipe, allowing for a thorough inspection.

In the ship’s auxiliary spaces, machinist mates have worked diligently during night shifts to preserve over 1000 square feet of corrosion on bulkheads, in bilges, and on equipment support stanchions. ENS Christopher Brown, the ship’s Auxiliary Officer commented on their progress, “It’s some of the highest quality work I’ve ever seen completed by ship’s force. These guys really care about repairing RUSSELL.” Machinist Mate Third Class Claudia Leyva found the late shifts to be more conducive to production, “It has been better working at night because there is less interference, and overall it’s easier to complete the job.”

In the ship’s forward elbow room, so-called because of the bending exhaust duct that travels throughout, a small group of Gas Turbine System Technicians have preserved 300 square feet of heavily corroded deck, bulkhead, and overhead, returning the steel to satisfactory condition.

The ship’s boatswain’s mates have also conducted a great deal of preservation, both on topside weather decks and within their division’s various storage lockers and spaces. Their largest project to date was in the port break, an enclosed area on the ship’s port side, where roughly 200 square feet of deck, bulkhead and overhead were preserved. Boatswain Mate Seaman Tyler Amacker who helped lead the efforts is happy with the progress, “This work has been helpful in identifying problems and finding ways to fix them. RUSSELL will be better off when we leave the yards.”

Be it weather decks, engineering spaces, or storage lockers, leaking pipes or corrosion, RUSSELL Sailors have time and time again proven their ability to meet every challenge, attacking problems with innovative solutions. This constructive and engaged mentality will undoubtedly pay dividends when RUSSELL returns to sea.

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