Friday, September 30, 2011

Back on the water: Nimitz departs dry dock

BREMERTON, WASH -- After completing required out-of-the-water maintenance while in dry dock, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) moved from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility's Dry Dock 6 to Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton's Pier Delta Sept. 29.

After moving to Pier Delta, work aboard Nimitz will continue as the ship's Docking Planned Incremental Availability comes to a close. "We're not done yet," said Lt. Cmdr. Chuck O. Jones, the ship's maintenance manager and assistant DPIA coordinator. "The majority of the big industrial work is complete. Now we'll be restoring the ship back to operational status."

Most divisions aboard only have about ten percent of their workload left to complete.
"Normally an availability is 15 months long with eight to ten years in between," said Jones. "But because other ships are also scheduled for dry dock time relatively soon, the availability was shortened to about a year."

While in the dry dock, Nimitz received numerous refurbishments and upgrades. Some of the new upgrades consisted of a more efficient computer Local Area Network system, two new sponsons welded to hold close in weapons systems (CIWS), 15 new industrial dryers and one new industrial washer.

Moving the ship out of the dry dock is a complicated process. Nimitz' bridge was filled with personnel and watchstanders ensuring the ship moved safely out of Dry Dock 6 and over to Pier Delta.

"It was pretty complex, because there were so many watchstanders on the bridge," said Quartermaster 2nd Class Brittany N. Addair, one of Navigation department's watchstanders during the ship's transit. "Actually pulling out was the most complicated part of the process. We needed GPS and visual fixes to know where we were at all times so we didn't hit anything."

Nimitz was assisted by a series of tugboats during its transit out of the dry dock and over to the pier. The tugs are especially important pulling out of the dry dock because they can maneuver the ship in ways that the ship itself can't.

Since Nimitz entered the dry dock, Navigation department couldn't exercise their regular duties aboard the ship. "It was a refresher for most of us and a big change for the new guys," said Addair. "The tugs helped pull us out and turn us. I'm just ready to get out of the dry dock and work on becoming operational again."

"I spent a lot of DPIA grinding store rooms, painting decks, and preparing spaces for going underway," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Garrett L. Davis, one of the many members tiger teams who worked around the clock to grind, paint, and restore many areas around the ship. "I'm proud of what we've accomplished. I learned a lot and I feel that the work we've done really fits into the big picture of being in the yards."

While at Pier Delta, Nimitz will finish final maintenance begin to prepare to become operational and go underway again. "As more and more areas become completed on board, we'll have to clean up and make the ship look like a naval warship again," said Jones. "As DPIA comes to a close, we'll transfer from a maintenance period to a training period. Each division will train on how to conduct underway operations and test equipment. Eventually we'll conduct dock trials, a fast cruise and finally sea trials." 


  1. My son is aboard her so I enjoy keeping up to date on her progress, but please PLEASE get rid of the dark (brown) background and black text! Its very hard to read! Stay away from ALL dark backgrounds and the site will be much more friendly to read! Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Dino Darling
    Ex GSM USS John Young DD-973

  2. When will be the Nimitz be moving to Everett. And will there be a tour available when the duty station is Everett.I would really appreciate the chance to let my son tour the Nimitz. He was to young while I was stationed on her as a MS in the 90s