SAN DIEGO (Sep. 7, 2017) – The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) entered a floating dry dock at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), Aug. 25.
The depot-level planned maintenance availability (DPMA) will last 14 months and will outfit the ship with the latest war fighting capabilities.
Makin Island Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Melson said DPMA will be a unique time for Makin Island.
“We are a warfighting team,” said Melson. “We’re coming off a deployment, and making the transition to the yards can be challenging. We have to change our mindset from being operational to one of rebuilding and repairing.”
Repairs for the ship will include a variety of routine maintenance contracts, upgrades to the ship’s systems, and other work to prolong service life.
“The flight deck will be resurfaced during the DPMA,” said Melson. “The new flight deck will be able to accommodate the F-35B Lightning II aircraft and increase the capabilities and reach of Team Raider.”
Safety for the ship’s crew will be a major concern during the overhaul stages. Makin Island Safety Officer Lt. Cmdr. John Gutierrez said the work environment of the ship will change drastically.
“The ship is getting taken apart,” said Gutierrez. “There will be grinding, welding, loud noises, open hatches, cranes, and heavy machinery. All of this creates a safety hazard. Our Sailors will have to stay focused on safety, and I’m sure we will navigate the DPMA without any issues.”
The DPMA period marks the first time the ship has been raised from the water since its christening in 2006.