Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility undocked USS Texas (SSN 775) Dec. 7, after completing major maintenance work.
This is the first Virginia-class submarine extended dry docking selected restricted availability (EDSRA) completed at Pearl Harbor, and only the second conducted by a U.S. Navy shipyard. Texas began its EDSRA May 31, 2012.
An EDSRA requires placing the submarine in dry dock to perform maintenance and modernization on certain shipboard systems. Now that the EDSRA is 95 percent complete, Texas will begin the final portion of its availability, during which the ship’s force will test, train and exercise the boat’s capabilities in order to qualify it as mission ready. This period typically takes six to eight months to complete.
“Completing the Texas EDSRA is a major milestone for the shipyard as it validates us as the Navy’s ‘[Virginia class] Center of Excellence,’” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Brian Osgood. “I’m extremely proud of the dedication, teamwork and innovative thinking that was on display each and every day on the Texas project. This achievement goes beyond the waterfront and support workers here at the Shipyard. Our partners here on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii, Defense Logistics Agency Pacific, Navy Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor-and our sister shipyard at Portsmouth [Naval Shipyard] , were heavily vested in our success.”
Some of the major projects during the Texas EDSRA included: first time shipyard certification of a Virginia-class propulsion system, mold-in-place work, sonar system work, electronic systems modernization and restoration of modular mast components.
“In the Texas availability, the whole command and control system was stripped down and renewed with all upgraded components which hadn’t been done on [USS] Virginia,” said Brian Yim, USS Texas project superintendent. “This was the first time that was done in a public shipyard.”
The Shipyard prepared for the Virginia class EDSRA years before Texas dry docked. Beginning in 2005, shipyard engineers and mechanics began working and training on Virginia class submarines at other shipyards, warfare centers and submarine bases, gaining valuable experience. Shipyard workers also completed intermediate level maintenance in Pearl Harbor when the Virginia class submarines homeported there required it.
“The preparation and knowledge sharing that we did with [Portsmouth Naval Shipyard] – observing the equipment they used, how they used it and getting to use it ourselves–helped us avoid or reduce a lot of the problems and challenges on many fronts,” said Yim. “We also continued the knowledge sharing with PNSY by having their Virginia class mechanics and engineers embed with us on many different aspects of the Texas project.”
The shipyard also had to prepare facilities to handle the EDSRA. It upgraded and built new facilities, including hardening and leveling the floor of Dry Dock 1, establishing a mold-in-place repair facility, and certifying a clean photonics lab.
While the shipyard will continue to predominately support Los Angeles-class availabilities, Virginia-class work is the future for the yard. Three of the Navy’s 10 Virginia class submarines are currently homeported in Pearl Harbor.
The Shipyard is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii with a combined civilian and military workforce of about 5,000.
Press Release, December 16, 2013; Image: Navy