PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY&IMF) completed emergent repair work on the guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57), enabling ship to meet a Feb. 1 deployment to the Western Pacific.
The shipyard received an urgent request Jan. 29 for pump and valve repair support required in order for the ship to deploy.
"Our workers were quick to respond to the request for emergent repairs that needed to be done over the weekend so the ship could deploy on Feb. 1," said PHNSY & IMF Industry Management Officer Cmdr. Kate Dolloff.
The Reuben James completed a continuous maintenance availability (CMAV) in January, readying the frigate to return to the Fleet. The CMAV work package consisted of mainly structural and mechanical work, accomplished through a combined effort between prime contractor BAE Systems Hawaii Shipyards, subcontractors, PHNSY & IMF and the ship's force. The CMAV team repaired the ship's elevator, fins, gas turbine engines, high-pressure air compressor, and replaced all of the non-skid surfaces on the decks.
"Our team's main objective is to help the ship get any repairs done in a timely manner so her crew can operate her safely and effectively during deployments," said Lester Lee, PHNSY & IMF project manager for Reuben James. "With the holidays and inclement weather, there were challenges, but the team prevailed to accomplish the work on time."
One of the challenges Lee's team faced was underwater repairs. Using a cost-reduction effort, PHNSY & IMF's Navy divers and ship's force installed a cofferdam on the underwater hull instead of dry-docking the ship. The cofferdam was less expensive than dry-docking, and created a dry space allowing contractors to work below the waterline.
With 20 years of experience in naval maintenance engineering, Reuben James' main propulsion assistant, Chief Warrant Officer John Walls, said the continuous maintenance - instead of conducting maintenance only during major availabilities - is keeping ships in better condition, and also allows the ship's crew to build relationships with the civilian shipyard workforce conducting repairs.
"We have to be ready to deploy at a moment's notice," said Walls. "Continuous maintenance allows work to be done more frequently when it is needed, and our ship to be mission-ready at all times. We see the same faces so often, they become like part of the ship's company."
During this deployment, Reuben James and her crew of more than 200 Sailors will conduct operations with U.S. coalition partners, as well as patrol the seas.
PHNSY & IMF, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is a full-service naval shipyard and regional maintenance center for the Navy's surface ships and submarines. Strategically located in the mid-Pacific, PHNSY & IMF is about a week of steam time closer to potential major regional contingencies in East Asia than sites on the West Coast.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.