USS Rushmore
"Nobility and Power"
PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 21, 2015) Damage Controlmen demonstrate pipe-patching during repair locker training in the truck tunnel of Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47). Rushmore is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (15th MEU), is currently operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chelsea Troy Milburn/Released)
USS Rushmore Prepares for Planned Maintenance Availability
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Hooper

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) is slated to begin the chief of naval operations' planned maintenance availability period (PMA) at BAE Systems shipyard in San Diego, March 7.

Rushmore is expected to spend the next 11 months overhauling its engineering, weapons and shipboard systems. The crew will also be working to refurbish many of the ship's common spaces.

"During the availability period, we make sure our spaces are good to go," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Leandris Frisone. "We have to take ownership of the ship and make sure the work is being done in order to meet the deadline that the commanding officer has set forth. Our focus in deck department is still ship preservation, but the job of the entire crew is making sure everything is done on time and in an efficient manner."

An important component of the availability period will be focused on the overhaul of weaponry and equipment.

"This is the only chance we have to get weaponry and equipment repaired to this extent," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Jared Cummings. "We are sending weapons off to be refurbished and receiving new equipment as well. This is a war ship and we have to be ready to fight at all times."

Though there is a lot of work to be done to keep the ship livable for the crew, the primary goal is getting through the PMA, according to Lt. Jason Pirrallo, Rushmore's supply officer.

"The biggest thing we need to maintain is ownership of the ship," said Pirrallo. "We put a lot of time and effort into making this ship great, and we need to hold on to that."

Rushmore recently returned from a seven-month Western Pacific deployment where the ship provided aid and assistance to 65 people on sinking bamboo rafts in the waters between the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

"It is an older ship, but we are in pretty decent shape right now," said Pirrallo. "We are anticipating being even better when we come out of the yards."

Rushmore is named after the Mount Rushmore National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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