GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Regional Support Group at Naval Submarine Base New London increased their waterfront repair capabilities by utilizing their operational drydock Sept. 13, something that hasn't been done in almost four years.
Shippingport (ARDM 4) is a government owned, contractor operated, newly restored drydock used to execute submarine repairs.
ARDM 4's first assignment, since completing its service craft overhaul and year-long recertification, completed its first week as an operational drydock with USS Pittsburgh.
"Without the service craft overhaul and recertification process, USS Pittsburgh would instead have had to conduct the maintenance period at the New Hampshire shipyard, with all the associated costs and burdens of doing a long maintenance period away from home and the crew's families," said Capt. Mark VanYe, commander, Regional Support Group.
Once the service craft overhaul (SCO) was completed more than a year ago, ARDM 4 underwent a year-long recertification. During the SCO the drydock received structural modifications enabling a lifting capacity to support a Virginia-class submarine. Additionally, the hauling capabilities as well as, ballasting system upgrades consisted of technical updates and improvements. This overhaul and recertification returned the operational drydock capability to the waterfront on Naval Submarine Base New London.
"It has been almost four years since Shippingport was last operational and as a result almost four years since the Groton waterfront has had an operational dock," said VanYe. "This significantly increases the capabilities of SUBASE Groton."
Cmdr. Michael Savageaux, commanding officer, USS Pittsburgh reflected on the quality of life benefits for Sailors and their families by conducting the availability locally.
"The return of a drydocking capability to Groton represents a huge improvement in our ability to maintain readiness. In particular, being able to conduct an extended availability locally prevents having the crew relocated away from their families for over nine months," said Savageaux.
During Pittsburgh's nine-month maintenance availability the Los Angeles attack submarine will receive a full replacement of the ship's tactical systems, to include fire control, sonar, and communications systems.
"This maintenance overhaul allows USS Pittsburgh to transform from the oldest combat control system in the attack fleet to the one of the most modern in just a few short months," said Savageaux.
Returning the drydock capability on Naval Submarine Base New London was coordinated by General Dynamics Electric Boat, Regional Support Group and the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Groton.
"It saves the Navy, but most importantly, this is a real win for the crew, their families, and the Groton waterfront," said VanYe. "Without the capabilities of the newly restored drydock, the Groton, Pittsburgh, and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard teams would be unable to execute this maintenance in the ship's homeport."
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