SAN DIEGO – Sailors aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) earned their engineering operational certification (EOC) Aug. 20.
Engineering Assessment Pacific (EAP) inspected the ship’s capability to conduct evolutions and combat casualties. Inspectors spent two days ensuring each engineering program, space and capability was up to par and that each watch stander was knowledgeable and ready to perform, regardless of conditions.
“The Sailors of the engineering department worked really hard over the past four months and I could not be prouder of them, the ownership they have taken in this ship, and the accomplishments they have achieved,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Suekoff, the Chief Engineer. “The knowledge they have attained and the proficiency level they have reached is nothing short of impressive.”
The comprehensive assessment involved a safety walk through and tested two watch team’s competence. Each watch section conducted twelve graded evolutions and eight drills.
As part of the drills, the ship conducted a main space fire to ensure New Orleans’ crew could properly combat a major fuel oil leak and a resultant class bravo fire in the main machinery spaces.
The EAP inspectors were impressed by the attitude of New Orleans’ engineers and stated in their report that, “the engineering department was well-prepared and ready for the assessment.”
EOC success meant extensive preparation and long hours for the crew. New Orleans had been preparing for the assessment since leaving BAE Systems Shipyard, San Diego, in December 2014.
“Our department worked day and night, making a lot of sacrifices to achieve certification,” said Electrician’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Corey Jackson. “When all is said and done, every engineer learned a tremendous amount and the plant is in the best condition it has ever been in; all of us feel a sense of pride that we achieved this milestone together.”
New Orleans is the second ship in Navy's San Antonio class of ships, designed to be a highly survivable and capable amphibious vessel. The fourth in the U.S. fleet to bear the name, New Orleans was commissioned in March 2007.