PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) successfully undocked USS Hawaii (SSN 776) May 5 and USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) May 7.
Hawaii has been in Dry Dock 2 since March 31 for regularly scheduled maintenance. Hawaii became the inaugural Virginia-class submarine in the U.S. Pacific fleet to undock at PHNSY & IMF, a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) field activity. Shipyard workers then rapidly transitioned to Dry Dock 4 to undock Paul Hamilton two days later.
"It was a very challenging evolution conducted over three days - undocking Hawaii on Wednesday and returning the dry dock to normal condition in order to undock Paul Hamilton on Friday," said Shipyard Docking Officer Lt. Lorenz Tate. "It was especially challenging to plan the docking in accordance with the first- and second-shift personnel turnover, ensuring a safe maneuver."
Paul Hamilton underwent $20 million of hull preservation, shafting and valve work during the Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability. NAVSEA continuously improves its maintenance and modernization processes to ensure capability is delivered in a cost-effective way.
"The undocking was successful, and the ship is set to finish its availability on schedule on May 21," said Capt. Lynn Hampton, head of the surface ship maintenance department at PHNSY.
Hawaii is undergoing $2.5 million of regularly scheduled maintenance during its Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV) at the shipyard. Submarines are routinely dry-docked every 4-6 years to perform work that cannot be completed pierside. The Hawaii project team went through nearly two years of preparation for Virginia-class docking evolutions. During the undocking, Navy divers carefully inspected the warship as she lifted off the blocks in the dry dock - an extra precaution not normally employed for Los Angeles-class submarines.
"Superintendent Jeff Long and his project team did a superb job in executing the Hawaii CMAV," said PHNSY & IMF VACL Program Manager Cmdr. Leonard Laforteza. "The dry-docking of our first Virginia-class submarine not only validated what we had planned, but also provided us lessons learned that we can apply to future dry-dockings. We are now in a position to redefine some of the areas to improve in that only became evident after executing an actual dry-docking."
According to Laforteza, the Shipyard will perform its first Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) of a Virginia-class submarine in summer 2012. Whereas a CMAV is a minor availability lasting two to six weeks, an EDSRA is a DSRA expanded in scope to include maintenance and modernization that cannot be accomplished in a DSRA. EDSRAs are major chief of naval operations availabilities and are approximately 15 months in duration.
"The USS Hawaii docking and undocking have great significance for the Shipyard," said Capt. Greg Thomas, Shipyard commander. "Our future depends, to a large extent, on Virginia-class submarines. By successfully executing these complex evolutions on Hawaii, we are demonstrating our ability to support the Navy's next generation of submarines."
Hawaii, which arrived at Pearl Harbor on July 23, 2009, is the first Virginia-class submarine to be homeported in Pearl Harbor and the first commissioned U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name of the Aloha State. Hawaii represents the very latest in submarine technology and capability. The submarine features an advanced combat control system and sensors and improved surveillance, reconnaissance and special operations forces (SEAL) capabilities. Seventeen of the 30 Pacific-based attack submarines are homeported at Pearl Harbor, and each of these contributes about $17 million a year to the local economy in Hawaii, according to Gov. Linda Lingle.
PHNSY & IMF is strategically located about two weeks of steam time from potential major regional contingencies in East Asia and roughly seven days closer than sites on the West Coast. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii with a combined civilian and military workforce of over 4,800. PHNSY & IMF has an operating budget of $687 million, of which more than $426 million is payroll for civilian employees.
For more information on the Shipyard, visit www.navsea.navy.mil/shipyards/pearl.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.