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Since arriving at Norfolk Naval Shipyard on July 7, 2020, the NNSY-Truman partnership effort, dubbed the “Truman Project” in industry terms, successfully completed a record-breaking quantity of maintenance work and multiple equipment testing evolutions never previously attempted during a maintenance availability.
“It’s not hard to see why Truman’s crew was recently declared the best in the Atlantic Fleet with the 2020 Battenberg Cup Award,” said Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, Truman’s commanding officer. “Their teamwork always shines through in overcoming challenges to the mission. I’m both honored and humbled to be part of this dedicated group!”
In total, the Truman Project completed well over 300,000 man-days of maintenance during the maintenance availability in a shorter timeline than the Planned Incremental Availabilities that aircraft carriers typically conduct at the end of three-year deployment cycles, providing a more rapid return to operational readiness. Although the scope and duration of the Truman Project expanded during the maintenance availability, the ship’s Operational Fleet Response Plan timelines remain unaffected.
Prior to the start of the ECIA in 2020, Truman conducted the post-deployment, sustainment phase of its OFRP at sea due to its status as a COVID-19 free ship, providing a ready asset for national defense. This phase of a ship’s OFRP is typically spent at least partly in-port and is used for evaluation of equipment and advance work in preparation for shipyard maintenance. The Truman Project’s equipment evaluation and advance work commenced upon Truman’s arrival at NNSY.
In July, 2020, the Navy Reserve mobilized Selected Reserve Sailors assigned to the Surge Maintenance program to reduce the maintenance backlog that had developed during the COVID-19 pandemic at the Navy’s public shipyards. The Truman Project received support from 65 SurgeMain Sailors in 17 production shops, providing calibration and testing, pipe fabrication, gas-free engineering checks and safety inspections for a variety of work.
From 29 August, 2020, until completion of the Truman Project, Truman shared a pier with USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), the first time two Nimitz-Class aircraft carriers have been moored together at NNSY. NNSY managed maintenance for both carriers at once using a “split-plant” work management concept.
“The project team devised and implemented an innovative workforce execution strategy, called Split Plant, that provided the capacity to simultaneously support the maintenance and modernization needs of two aircraft carriers,” said Truman Project Superintendent Jim Brewer. “It also provided approximately 30 additional work days of production time for the Truman Project.”
In addition to work completed by the shipyard’s workforce during the ECIA, Truman’s ship’s force restored and rehabilitated 141 decks, totaling 28,000 square feet, refurbished all three ship’s wardrooms, the ship’s forward and aft mess decks, numerous offices and staterooms, and over 230 watertight doors. Truman also successfully conducted a mid-point propulsion plant start-up, marking the first time a Nimitz-Class CVN has conducted such an evolution during a shipyard maintenance availability. In addition, Truman conducted “no-load” catapult testing on the flight deck, certifying its catapults for use following maintenance—another first for a CVN during a shipyard maintenance availability.
Truman conducted several Basic Phase training events during the ECIA, successfully completing approximately two thirds of required certifications for operational deployment.
“The fact that we were practicing General Quarters twice a week and each training team was preparing for the beginning of Basic Phase allowed us to execute both Crew Certification Phase III and Command Assessment of Readiness and Training Part II events while still in the shipyard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris McHenry, Truman’s training officer. “The crew performed admirably, and Afloat Training Group assessors noted that Truman was well ahead of where most carriers are expected to be at this point in the training cycle.”
Throughout the ECIA, Truman Project teams needed to contend with risk factors imposed by COVID-19, implementing mitigation and response measures.
“Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 during the ECIA was a challenge for Truman’s crew and everyone involved, said Cmdr. Veronica Bigornia, Truman’s senior medical officer. “However, all hands did their part – from wearing masks and disinfecting spaces to temperature screenings of all visitors. Everyone pulled together, and as a result, Team Truman had low rates of infection and was able to complete the availability healthy and strong.”
To date, Truman has voluntarily vaccinated more than 1,400 crew members for COVID-19, providing increased protection from risks to personnel and mission readiness.
Following completion of ECIA, Truman returned to sea to conduct operational readiness testing and certifications.
“As the flagship of the Harry S. Truman Strike Group, I am excited to have the USS Harry S. Truman flex her operating muscles and return to where she is meant to be—at sea,” said Rear Adm. Ryan Scholl, commander, Carrier Strike Group 8. “As she completes these sea trials, we will begin to incorporate the combat power of Carrier Air Wing 1, DESRON 28, and USS San Jacinto with our very powerful flagship. We are engaged and planning our upcoming training events where we prove the strength, capacity and eye watering capability of an integrated Carrier Strike Group. I am honored to lead and serve alongside such a professional group of Sailors!”
Truman was awarded the 2020 Battenberg Cup Award, the 2020 Battle Efficiency Award, the 2020 “Golden Anchor” Retention Excellence Award for the sixth consecutive year, and the 2020 Admiral Flatley Memorial Award for aviation safety. Truman’s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department IM-3 division officer, LT Timothy Moss, was awarded the 2020 Captain Charles J. “Chuck” Nechvatal Award for Aviation Ground Maintenance Officer of the Year.
For more news from Truman, visit www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/cvn75/, www.facebook.com/cvn75, or www.twitter.com/ussharrystruma
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