NORFOLK (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) completed sea trials Feb. 1 after conducting major shipyard maintenance over the past 12 months.
Sea trials are conducted after ships complete major shipyard maintenance and tests the ship's systems and to make sure the ship is ready for deployment.
"Sea trials provided the ship with a series of tests and validations in order to test newly installed, modified or overhauled equipment," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aaron Dowdy from Richmond, Virginia, the ship's repair officer. "Major equipment that needed testing included radars, the ship's propulsion system and the countermeasure wash down system, which is designed to defend the ship against chemical, biological and radiological attack."
Thanks to cooperation between Bataan Sailors and shipyard workers, work was performed to further prepare the ship to answer the nation's call.
"Sea trial success comes from Sailors and shipyard workers quickly learning how to work together," Dowdy said. "It's been months of planning and training. When it came down to execution, the crew was ready, and they made it happen."
Bataan's crew has been working many months in preparation for sea trials. The ship's maintenance period started in February 2015 in BAE Shipyards with the ship going into drydock. The crew spent months prior to that identifying maintenance needs and requesting them through the ship's maintenance system. After months of hard work from the crew and the shipyard workers, the ship returned to Naval Station Norfolk in December. Now all their hard work has paid off.
"The necessary system checks and work by the crew during sea trials makes certain Bataan will be ready to rejoin the fleet and get the crew for their next deployment," said Dowdy. "After a long shipyard period, it feels great to get the ship back out to sea. I'm extremely happy with the way the crew has come together and performed."
Once sea trials are completed, the ship will begin its training and qualification cycle. Sailors, new and old, will train and then be tested to show they are ready for the ship's next deployment.
"Since returning from deployment in 2014, we set three priorities here aboard Bataan," said Bataan's Commanding Officer Capt. John "JC" Carter. "Our first two priorities were taking care of the Sailor and taking care of the Bataan family. After a long deployment, these were at the top of the list."
"Our third priority was taking care of the ship," said Carter. "This crew, along with quite a number of new Sailors who checked into the command this past year, have stepped up to the plate and seriously hit a home run. I couldn't be prouder of the accomplishments we've made during this maintenance period."
Bataan is scheduled to begin the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Training Plan in order to prepare for future deployments.