SUPSHIP Complete Availability on Chosin

Thursday, July 11, 2002
The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) returned to sea for sea trials June 26 to test and validate modifications and newly installed equipment. Her recently completed extended drydocking ship's restricted availability (EDSRA), valued at more than $25 million, was a 232-calendar day overhaul that included modifications to equipment involving every department aboard the ship. The overhaul began in November 2001, shortly after Chosin's return from a successful Arabian Gulf deployment as part of the USS Constellation (CV 64) Battlegroup. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY), SUPSHIP Pearl Harbor, and San Diego-based Southwest Marine accomplished the work with other local subcontractors. Some of the more significant jobs included the CG 47-class hull girder modification, aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) system upgrade, Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) installation, advanced Tomahawk weapons control system (ATWCS) upgrade and an electric galley modification. The hull girder modification, which enhances the ship's survivability during prolonged navigation under extreme weather and sea conditions, was the most extensive undertaking. It entailed removing significant portions of the hull plating, associated girders, electrical cables, piping and ventilation in the vicinity of the forward superstructure. For several months in Drydock Four at PHNSY, the interior of the ship was completely exposed to the elements while the contractor performed the modifications. "I could stand on the main deck of my ship and see the sun, or too often, get rained on while the work was being completed. It was disheartening, but for the good of the ship," said Capt. Rich Nolan, Chosin's commanding officer. The AFFF system upgrade called for the replacement of five smaller stations with two-centrally located stations with a header to provide the fire-fighting agent throughout the ship. AFFF is used to combat class "B" fires in the event of a fuel leak by providing a smothering vapor barrier. The CEC installation was the most significant combat systems upgrade. CEC provides for sensor fusion and engagement coordination between battlegroup assets and employs various commerical over-the-shelf and government over-the-shelf equipment alongside legacy Aegis weapon system components. It capitalizes on battlegroup sensor capabilities and unit location, providing fused sensor data - not just track data. CEC allows for one unit to engage a track that is not held by its own sensors. This capability, the first step toward the Joint Composite Tracking Network, is a significant upgrade over Link 11 or Link 16 operations. The ATWCS upgrade replaced the legacy equipment associated with the Post Block III Tomahawk Weapons Control System with COTS hardware. The new equipment will facilitate easier surface track database management and coordination of strike operations between Chosin and other "shooters" in the battlegroup. The electric galley modification replaced all of the steam piping and associated galley steam-heated equipment with all-electric systems. The steam kettles, steam tables and scullery equipment were replaced with electric versions that are easier to maintain. The galley also received new salad bars, thaw boxes, refrigerators and deep fat fryers. The mess decks were also refurbished to provide needed quality of life upgrades for the crew. Chosin is part of the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Battlegroup and is training for an early 2003 deployment.

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