SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- For the first time in nearly two years, USS Russell (DDG 59) departed Naval Base San Diego under her own power.
The ship commenced sea trials April 30 to test the integrity of the work performed over 22 months at Continental Maritime San Diego by BAE systems. Russell’s return to sea, also marked the end of the crew’s Selective Restricted Availability (SRA) period.
Russell successfully conducted light-off assessment (LOA) in early April in preparation for the ship’s first underway. The Engineering Department prepared the engineering plant as well as the auxiliary services required for crew habitability during operations at sea.
“The engineers utilized their time in the yard period by maintaining equipment and training for casualties,” said Chief Engineer Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Szalai. “When LOA came around, they were able to properly demonstrate their abilities to operate the plant and fight a main space casualty,”
While the agenda consisted mostly of operational testing of contractor installments, Russell also conducted full power maneuvers, air defense exercises and weapons training while the crew completed testing, maintenance, and training to make the most of their first underway period in nearly two years.
“I am extremely proud of the Weapons Department for their performance this underway,” said the Weapons Officer Lt. David LaShomb. “Being able to operate our multitude of weapons is critical for training and proficiency. I am confident the crew is set up for success as we gear up for future operations.”
According to the ship's senior leadership, what really made the underway successful was the incredible performance by the Russell crew.
“The Russell crew had an incredibly successful underway considering the amount of time spent away from sea,” said Cmdr. Matthew W. Foster, Russell’s Commanding Officer. “What Russell accomplished is a testament to their hard work and preparation. I look forward to spending more time at sea with this outstanding crew.”
Russell is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 23. Several members of the DESRON 23 staff came onboard for Contractor Sea Trials, to include the Deputy Commodore Capt. David Fowler.
Russell is currently executing a Continuous Maintenance Availability prior to commencing Type Commander Sea Trials followed by the Basic Phase.
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