NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Shortly after returning from its current underway period, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) will begin a long-awaited maintenance period in Portsmouth, Va., Feb. 28.
A dry-docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) is a shipyard period during which the ship receives any repairs or system upgrades it needs to remain operating at maximum capacity.
"We are going in to replace equipment that can only be done while there is no water surrounding the ship," said Lt. Cmdr. Homer Hensy, USS Harry S. Truman maintenance manager. "We have a lot of dock work to do out there, and we are going to make the propulsion plant better. Also, we are upgrading our cooperative engagement capabilities on the ship to better communicate with the rest of the fleet and bring Truman into the 21st century."
While in the shipyards, Truman will receive a complete makeover. Some of the planned improvements include new and up-to-date steering equipment, improved systems on the bridge and new radar antennas.
"The shipyard workers are going to remove the mast and replace it with a more consolidated model," said Hensy. "They are also ripping out all four screws, shafts and rudders so they can be replaced. There will be a lot of re-construction aft of frame 180."
Truman Sailors should also expect to see a noticeable improvement in the overall quality of living aboard once the availability is complete.
"We are taking on what I would say is the most aggressive habitability I have ever seen outside of an aircraft carrier that is being refueled," said Hensy. "We are going to refurbish at least half of the spaces aft of frame 180."
Hensy said safety will be a top priority during the maintenance period.
"Safety is a major factor out in the shipyards," said Hensy. "We are going to be in an industrial environment with welding and power cables going everywhere. Sailors must be careful when moving about the ship. Just because we are not flying planes out there does not mean that it's not a dangerous environment."
Crew members will be required to view several DPIA related safety videos during this underway period.
"Sailors need to be very mindful of their surroundings and know where they are on the ship at all times," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW/FMF) Justin Pearce.
The DPIA is key for Truman to remain up-to-date and perform its duties at the highest level.
"We are going to come out of this availability with an even higher level of material condition of readiness, and a more capable warfighting ship to do whatever the country needs us to do," said Hensy.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.