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170420-N-BT947-174 APRA HARBOR, GUAM (Apr. 20, 2017) Sailors aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) heave lines to dockworkers on the pier as the ship arrives in Guam for a regularly scheduled liberty port visit. Somerset, with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to enhance amphibious capability with regional partners and to serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob I. Allison/RELEASED)
USS Somerset Begins Scheduled Maintenance Cycle

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO -- The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) arrived at the General Dynamics NASSCO Shipyard in San Diego Oct. 6 to begin an eight-month Chief of Naval Operations Planned Maintenance Availability.

During this scheduled maintenance phase, Somerset will undergo repairs, maintenance and upgrades to extend its operational capabilities and ensure the ship is ready for any mission assigned during its next deployment.

The crew plans to conduct maintenance or upgrades on nearly every part of the ship during the availability, said the ship’s maintenance officer, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Bryan Broussard.

“We’re redoing the flight deck nonskid, we’re getting an upgrade to SSDS (Ship’s Self Defense System), we’re upgrading the radio equipment for comms… a lot of systems will be upgraded,” said Broussard. “The maintenance phase allows us to continue striving for the excellence that we’re always committed to, for sustained, superior performance at sea.”

For many of Somerset’s crew, this won’t be their first experience working in a shipyard.

“This will be my second time going into a yard period,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Fabien London, from Brooklyn, New York. “My first time was back in Avondale as a plankowner.”

Somerset was built at Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Avondale, La. Plankowners are members of the ship who were working on the ship before it was officially commissioned into the U.S. Navy.

The ship was moved to NASSCO in what’s called a ‘deadstick’ transit, where the ship wasn’t operating under its own power but was instead pulled by tugboats.

“It was smooth- I thought it’d be rough but we were able to do everything pretty smoothly,” said London. “Normally when we get underway there’s a lot more commotion and communication, but for this we just let the tugs take us and get us into the right position at the yards. It was a bit easier for us in Deck department.”

At the conclusion of the yard period, USS Somerset will return to Naval Base San Diego to start on the training phase before its next deployment.

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