SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) has water under the keel once again after successfully completing a dry dock period at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego, March 10.
During an extensive eight-hour evolution that took place at night, the dry dock was flooded and Green Bay safely exited the NASSCO facility to begin its next maintenance period at the BAE shipyard also in San Diego.
This evolution marks a major milestone and the completion of eight months of Green Bay's year-long maintenance availability as it moves into the third and final stage of the refurbishment and upgrade process.
"I was the officer of the deck for the evolution and while the tugs pulled us out of the dry dock," said Lt. j.g. Nicholas Schwartz, a native of Harvey's Lake, Pa., and a key member of the bridge team during the undocking. "It was exciting to get back into the water and get one step closer to being operationally ready."
Schwartz said moving the ship out of the dry dock was a complicated process. Green Bay's bridge was filled with personnel and multiple watchstanders ensured the ship moved safely out of the dry dock at NASSCO.
"It's been a long haul," said Schwartz. "I was here for the last deployment and it is impressive to see how the ship is coming back together after such a long yard period."
Sailors and engineers worked together throughout the night to closely monitor the intricate undocking process.
"My job was to oversee the line-handling in the mooring stations," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Pamela Pritchard, a native of Choctaw, Okla., who worked as a safety petty officer during the undocking process. "We secured the ship to the pier and ensured there was enough tension and slack in the lines."
Pritchard said that as the water floated the ship all hands roved the ship to check for watertight integrity. Once it was confirmed no water was being taken on board, the evolution continued as planned.
Green Bay was assisted by a series of tugboats during its transit out of the dry dock and to the pier at the BAE facility. The tugs were especially important pulling out of the dry dock because they had to maneuver Green Bay since the ship was not under its own power.
Work on board Green Bay will continue at the BAE facility as the ship prepares to become operationally ready for a scheduled homeport shift to Sasebo, Japan early next year. Green Bay will be the first San Antonio-class LPD to be forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
Sailors aboard the ship said they have seen great progress during the maintenance availability and most divisions only have 25 percent of their workload left to complete.
"We have had upgrades to our 3M program including SKED 3.2, a maintenance management program that helps us organize preventative maintenance," said Chief Hull Technician (SW) Frederick Hernandez, the ship's 3M coordinator. "This program is important as we return to the fleet and train our Sailors on the equipment."
Providing warships ready for combat, developing Sailors, and training crews to fight and win are the subjects of Vice Adm. Thomas H. Copeman III, commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet's "Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet" which consolidates a set of objectives and policies to maximize surface force readiness by concentrating on warfighting ability, sustainable excellence and wholeness over time.
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