Bataan Leaves Dry Dock, Moors Pierside

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jeremy L. Grisham, USS Bataan Public Affairs

The multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) moved out of dry dock to her new berth at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) Feb. 7 as part of her depot planned maintenance availability (DPMA). The movement is part of the DPMA plan, which is to refurbish spaces and install new components and systems aboard the ship.

"It was a race to the finish," said the ship's Repair Officer, Lt. Cmdr. David Wuestewald. "The last fuel tank closure was being completed the afternoon prior to the dock's flooding."

Bataan has been at NNSY since September, and contractors and Bataan's crew have been working on various modifications and habitability projects, such as the MV-22 Osprey modification in the hangar bay, and installation of a compensating fuel system. "We are done with most of the modifications aboard the ship," said Wuestewald. "Now the main focus will be touch-up work around the ship."

Moving the ship out of the dry dock facility to the pier was a major evolution for the ship's crew and Norfolk Naval Shipyard personnel, taking more than eight hours. "It was exciting getting the CIC [Combat Information Center] manned and ready for the evolution," said Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SW/AW) William J. Phillips. "Having water under the keel again means that at-sea operations are right around the corner." The crew aboard the ship had various responsibilities during the move, including standing watches, inspecting for watertight integrity around the ship's hull and line handling. Meanwhile, shipyard personnel were responsible for the controlled flooding of the dock, moving the dry dock's caisson and orchestrating the ship's movement. "This was a major milestone in the DPMA," added Wuestewald. "Now we look forward to the production completion date, crew move-aboard and light-off assessment." Bataan is more than halfway through her eight-month DPMA period. Bataan is the fifth ship of the Navy's Wasp-class ships. She was commissioned Sept. 20, 1997, and is the second U.S. Navy warship to bear the name.

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