SAN DIEGO –
Amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) departed BAE Systems San Diego shipyard and returned to Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) as part of the ship’s restricted availability (SRA) period on Nov. 17.
According to BAE Systems, the ship has completed 75 percent of their scheduled work in only 58 percent of the allotted time for the $16.7 million SRA, putting her far ahead of schedule. The rest of the work will be completed while the ship is moored pier side on the naval base.
San Diego’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Carl Meuser, explains how planning plays a major role in a ship’s success during a maintenance phase like SRA because it minimizes surprises and disruptions to the schedule.
The overall goal, Meuser said, is to “ensure that everyone understands what the expectations are, how the schedule is working, and knows what all the big muscle movements are.” The end result: A cohesive team that is able to work steadily together, the ability to identify problem areas early, and achieve project goals ahead of schedule.
The major maintenance projects completed while in the shipyard include: bellows replacements on all of the main engines, chlorinators installed in the main and auxiliary spaces, central fresh water modification, the replacement of over 200 auxiliary seawater and firemain valves, and the resurfacing of the flight deck and well deck.
“This has been an extremely successful yard period,” said San Diego’s Chief Engineering Officer Lt. Cmdr. Scott Du Bose. “The main reason for our success was early planning and fostering a good working relationship with the shipyard. Our ability to effectively communicate with the shipyard has also been key.”
Even though San Diego is no longer moored at the BAE shipyard, there is still plenty of work to be done. Shipyard workers and contractors will join San Diego at NBSD to continue work on the remaining maintenance projects, such as repairs to the sideport doors and the sterngate.
“I feel what San Diego has done differently is to create and foster a working relationship with open communication” said Du Bose. “We will continue to stay involved with every aspect of the work that is being conducted.”
While contractors and shipyard workers complete the major maintenance projects during the SRA, the everyday maintenance and ship’s upkeep remain the responsibility of Sailors assigned to San Diego.
“We are proactive with the day-to-day operations on board and have maintained ownership of the ship while in the SRA,” said Du Bose.
That ownership grew even more apparent in recent weeks as Sailors and Marines moved back into the ship’s berthings, staterooms and workspaces. The ship’s galley was also reopened on Nov. 16, allowing San Diego’s crew access to everything they need to work fulltime on board.
“Having the conveniences of being able to eat in the galley, work out in our gyms and sleep on board instead of a barge on duty days makes a big difference. It’s really nice,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class George Breskovic. “It really feels like our ship again and not just a place we work.”
San Diego is the fourth ship to bear the name and the only U.S. Navy ship stationed in her namesake city. She was built at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., and is the sixth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship.