The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) departed the dry dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyards (PSNS) and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF), April 25.
The event marked the conclusion of the nine-month dry dock portion of Stennis’ Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) maintenance period.
“This milestone is a big win, not just for the Stennis and PSNS and IMF team, but also for the Navy,” said Stennis’ Commanding Officer, Capt. Michael Wettlaufer. “I am exceptionally proud of our team’s accomplishments in achieving this major milestone early and keeping Stennis on track to return to the fleet as scheduled.”
To date, Stennis, PSNS and IMF personnel completed more than 11,000 critical repair jobs including the restoration of Stennis’ multi-ton propellers, shafts and rudders, as well as refurbishing all four aircraft catapults.
Stennis also began installing the Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise Services communications platform and is in the process of upgrading the ship’s Phalanx Close-in Weapons Systems to the Block 1B baseline 2 variant, designed to improve the ship’s defense against close-range threats, including surface and air targets.
“A tremendous amount of work has been accomplished by the entire project team,” said PSNS and IMF employee John Simpson, Stennis’ project engineer planning manager, from Spokane, Wash. “It took teamwork by the ship, shipyard and alteration-installation teams working to make this event happen.”
Millions of gallons of water entered the dry dock Aug. 23 as Stennis, PSNS and IMF personnel conducted safety and water integrity inspections throughout the ship. Once the dry dock was fully flooded, the caisson, a barrier separating the dry dock from the bay, was removed and Stennis, with the assistance of several tugboats, was safely transited to an adjacent pier where the ship will continue its DPIA.
“Flooding and exiting the dry dock takes a large orchestrated effort between the ship’s crew, docking officers and other support personnel,” said PSNS and IMF’s engineering duty officer, Lt. Rebecca Wright, from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Stennis is scheduled to complete its DPIA after conducting sea trials in the fall.
Press Release, April 28, 2014; Image: Navy