USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) departed Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for Sea Trials July 21 following a 10-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA).
Truman's Commanding Officer, Capt. Ryan B. Scholl, praised ship forces, NNSY and civilian contractors for working together to stay on schedule and making an on-time departure from the shipyard.
"The number one goal for this ship over the last year was making it better than when it arrived here," said Scholl. "This excitement, enthusiasm and teamwork is what propelled us out of the shipyard. Truman is ready to tackle the next stage of doing what carriers do - conduct prompt and sustained combat operations from the sea."
Critical work during the availability, which began last September, included upgrades to the ship's internal and external communication network, receiving, inventorying and installing more than 3,000 Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) assets and the Navy's next generation tactical afloat network. The afloat network enhances operational effectiveness and provides better quality of life for deployed Sailors.
To maintain the ship's operational longevity, Sailors and contractors teamed up to repair nearly 4,500 reactor material items, which accounted for approximately 25 percent of the ship's overall work package. Additionally, maintenance and refurbishments were made to shipboard systems in preparation for future operations, including rehabilitating 90,000 square feet of Truman's hangar bay, 7,000 square feet of its flight deck combing and scuppers, and 10,000 square feet of catwalk.
Lt. Cmdr. Jeremiah Nelson, Truman's maintenance manager, oversaw the progression of the ship's availability period, coordinating a plan of action for shipyard workers, contractors and ship's crew.
"This PIA was all about smart coordination between workforces and making sure we worked safely," said Nelson. "There was a ton of work to be done, but all hands did an excellent job of executing their mission. We had a lot of people on this project and they all helped to ensure this ship re-entered the fleet operating at its maximum potential."
According to Mike Jennings, the Truman project superintendent, Truman is departing NNSY one day early. He said the ship's crew was very experienced and everyone was focused on holding each other accountable to meet the schedule and get the ship out on time. As a further testament to teamwork, NNSY partnered with Newport News, Pearl Harbor and Puget Sound naval shipyards.
"There was a lot of emergent work during this availability," said Jennings. "The biggest asset we used to ensure our success was our partnership and teamwork approach. We were one team with one fight, and that included everyone who worked on this project."
Upgrades to the ship didn't just include systems. Refurbishments to crew living spaces included the rehabilitation of 12 berthing spaces, 10 heads and the preservation of 963 decks over the course of 309,000 man hours.
Sailors were also able to take advantage of the time ashore by gaining further knowledge in their respected rates. This created a more qualified and versatile crew across all departments.
"During this shipyard period, the ship sent 1,200 Sailors to more than 77 different locations covering 395 different types of training," said Damage Controlman 1st Class Mykel Cruz. "We also indoctrinated more than 600 new members to the crew, 300 of which who have never served aboard a ship before."
Departing NNSY is the first step of a long road ahead for Truman. The ship is now preparing for an upcoming schedule consisting of various training exercises placing emphasis on damage control, flight deck operations and simulated combat at-sea.
"The CNO started an initiative called 'The Team of Winners,' and I think this is a perfect example of that," said Capt. Scott Brown, the NNSY commanding officer. "We know with this availability what it feels like to win. We're going to carry that throughout the rest of the shipyard and use the leverage gained by Mike Jennings and Captain Scholl in getting this ship out on time."
Truman's spot on NNSY's waterfront won't be vacant for long. The shipyard welcomes USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
(CVN 69) for its PIA in August.