Military News

Thursday, April 08, 2010

First Virginia-class Dry Dock Conducted

April 8, 2010 - PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF), a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) field activity, dry docked USS Hawaii (SSN 776), March 30.

Hawaii is the first U.S. Pacific fleet Virginia-class submarine to go into dry dock at Pearl Harbor, one of NAVSEA's four public shipyards playing a major role in maintaining America's fleet. The ship will undergo routine inspection and maintenance in the shipyard until early May.

"The entire shipyard was very excited to dry dock USS Hawaii, and validate the hard work and dedication of the many people involved in this evolution," said Shipyard Commander Capt. Greg Thomas. "The successful execution was the fruit of their labor, earned from careful and relentless preparation."

The shipyard has been researching, planning and training for dry-docking evolutions since June 2008. Because Virginia-class submarines pose unique challenges that make docking the modern vessels more complicated than Los Angeles-class ships, the shipyard put together a special project team strictly dedicated to Hawaii's dry docking.

The project team underwent extensive preparations to safely and efficiently dry dock Hawaii. First, the shipyard conducted a realistic Virginia class mock docking availability in August 2008, followed by an evaluation session to capture lessons learned from the exercise. Several weeks prior to the docking, two all-trades conferences were held, instead of the usual single conference.

"The extra pre-trades conference was an above-and-beyond effort put forth for Virginia-class docking," said Cmdr. Leonard Laforteza, PHNSY & IMF's Virginia-class program manager. "It was important to address all the potential issues."

Dry docking Hawaii also provided a model for future repair work in the shipyard on Virginia-class submarines.

Hawaii, which arrived at Pearl Harbor last July, is the first 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, featuring an advanced combat control system; sensors; improved surveillance, reconnaissance capabilities; and special operations forces capabilities.

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