PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) moved from dry dock 8 (DD8) to her new berth, Pier 6 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in Portsmouth, Va., Feb. 3.
Truman has been in dry dock since March 2011, conducting a 15-month docking planned incremental availability (DPIA).
According to Ensign Carlos Prothro from deck department, getting the ship out of dry dock and afloat is a major milestone.
"It is a complex process, and the biggest part is having experienced Sailors in the right places at the right times," said Prothro. "Undocking any ship takes a team effort."
Prothro said another key element to the ship's successful undocking was cooperation between Truman and NNSY leadership.
"Our partnership with NNSY made the undocking process flow smoothly," said Prothro. "Undocking takes a lot of people working together with good communication flowing both up and down."
Following its watertight integrity verification Feb. 1, DD8 continued controlled flooding until Truman rose from the keel blocks and moved by tug boats to Pier 6 at NNSY.
Cmdr. Jeffrey Hutchinson, Truman's navigation officer, said the undocking went extremely well and every Sailor and shipyard worker should be proud.
"Today's movement went well because of the planning by NNSY and Truman," said Hutchinson. "Undocking was the most significant key event since DPIA started. It brings us one huge step closer to becoming operational again. This move should give every Sailor a deep sense of accomplishment and purpose."
For some of Truman's newest Sailors this was their first experience at sea.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Alexander Donley said seeing the ship afloat was a remarkable sight.
"I was very excited," said Donley, who has been aboard since September 2011. "Service at sea was the driving factor in my choice of joining the Navy over other branches of service. There is a marked progression in the ship's condition from when I first arrived to now."
Donley said many of the ship's newest Sailors are only familiar with being in dry dock. "So the ship being afloat is very new to all of the newly reported Sailors. Soon we will back to sea, working in our rates," said Donley.
Truman's DPIA is the largest-scale maintenance cycle ever conducted at NNSY. Truman completed its last DPIA in 2006.
Throughout the next few months, Truman's Sailors will test systems and prepare the ship for its return to the fleet. Truman is scheduled to remain at Pier 6 until the completion of its DPIA.
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