The crew of the US Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS Makin Island (LHD 8) went out to sea to test the ship’s overhauled systems.
Namely, the ship has undergone a 13-month Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA) period, which saw numerous repairs.
During the nine-day scheduled sea trials completed on Jan. 17, Makin Island crew members tested a number of shipboard systems, including communication circuits, damage control systems, navigation systems and propulsion plant. The crew also conducted full-power runs of the ship, ballasting demonstrations and flight operations.
Capt. Alvin Holsey, Makin Island’s commanding officer said: “After a 13-month maintenance period, the crew performed exceptionally well. We had a few growing pains, but their focus remained on executing safe and precise evolutions.”
Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Patrick J. Webb, Makin Island crew member noted: “Most of the crew has never been out to sea, so doing these drills gave us a taste of what to expect when we’re out on deployment. I’d rather go through trial and error during a drill now, then not knowing what to do during a real casualty.”
Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system, which is expected to save fuel worth over $250 million.
The ship’s hybrid-electric propulsion system is designed to run on auxiliary propulsion motors at low speeds and on gas turbines at higher speeds.
Naval Today Staff, January 22, 2014; Image: US Navy