By Chief Hospital Corpsman Andres Santamaria, USS Curtis Wilbur Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) completed sea trials March 5 after conducting a DDG midlife overhaul extended dry dock shipboard repair availability (EDSRA).
The EDSRA lasted 335 days and was the longest and most extensive DDG overhaul in Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) history. The availability was the first ever DDG EDSRA conducted and led by the Ship's Repair Facility in Yokosuka, Japan.
This critical time is essential in the life of a ship to upgrade numerous systems, weapons, and much needed repairs. The underway opportunity allows for the Sailors to work closely with civilian technicians to put their gear to the final test.
"It is incredibly important right now for the junior Sailors to work with senior personnel to learn not just about their new equipment but underway life in general," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Deffey Moore, a combat systems officer of the watch for Curtis Wilbur.
After the long period inport, the crew is excited to finally be back at sea. More than 30 percent of the crew had never been underway with the ship before and more than 25 percent had never been underway at all.
"Curtis Wilbur worked with all of the ships on the waterfront to get our Sailors underway during the avail" said Curtis Wilbur's Commanding Officer Cmdr. Hans De For. "With their help we were able to successfully complete this yard period with enough qualified watch standers to excel during sea trials."
The atmosphere aboard was palpable as the boatswain's mate of the watch blew the whistle and shifted colors.
"It is amazing; I just love being underway and it has been far too long", said Information Technician 2nd Class Hayward Woods.
Curtis Wilbur is one of seven Arleigh burke-class guided-missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and is permanently forward-deployed to Yokosuka supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.