SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Makin Island (LHD 8) passed a four-day special trials inspection Oct. 29, and is the Navy's first operational hybrid-electric amphibious assault ship.
The special trials, held by the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), examined the ship's material readiness and ability to sustain combat operations.
Inspectors observed Makin Island crew members as they conducted in-port and at-sea demonstrations and checks, including deck and engineering, operations, navigation, weapons systems, food service and supply and information and communication systems.
"Special trials are a significant milestone," said Capt. Robert Bonner, deputy chief of staff for trials, INSURV. "It means you can now start training and conducting maintenance cycles in order to deploy."
Capt. Jim Landers, Makin Island commanding officer, also highlighted the significance of passing the trials.
"We now take our place as a fully operational ship of the line," said Landers. "When there's a crisis here or somewhere in the world, we can be called upon to respond in support of our national interests."
Landers commended the crew for their exceptional effort and dedication in preparing for the special trials.
"This is truly a team of winners," Landers said. "We passed all of our demonstrations, and INSURV said we have one of the best electrical safety and electrical tool check out programs they've ever seen...we also scored the second highest ever in deck."
Makin Island Sailors spent more than a year preparing for the ship's special trials inspection and will spend the next several months in a maintenance availability period before beginning pre-deployment training and operations.
"The ship is nearly ready to go," said Landers. "We'll now focus on crew training, getting ready to execute operational missions with precision."
Makin Island was commissioned in October 2009 and is the Navy's first hybrid-electric amphibious assault ship.
The ship's revolutionary technology is estimated to save the Navy $250 million throughout its 40-year lifecycle and is a model for future ship designs. Makin Island is scheduled for its maiden deployment in 2011.
For more news from USS Makin Island (LHD 8), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd8/.