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'America's Big Stick' is Good as New

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050105-05
Release Date: 1/5/2005 1:29:00 PM

By Journalist 3rd Class Mark Catalano, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (NNS) -- USS Theodore Roosevelt (TR) (CVN 71) met its goal of completing its Docked Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in Portmouth, Va., and sea trials, as well as delivering the ship back to the fleet Dec. 17.

The mission of transforming an 18-year-old, 1,092-foot long, 97,000-ton aircraft carrier into what is now essentially a brand new ship was no small one.

"We entered the shipyard with the most extensive work package ever attempted within the allotted time period," said TR Commanding Officer Capt. Turk Green.

Renovating such a large vessel is mind-boggling in and of itself, but having to do so with a strict and always fast-depleting deadline only made things all the more hectic for the team.

"The collective efforts of the shipyard, contractors and our amazing Sailors allowed us to finish the job and deliver our ship on time," Green said. "The success of this teamwork set the standard by which other availabilities will be judged."

The purpose of the DPIA was to ensure TR maintained its material condition as well as kept up with technological advances to maximize mission capability, Green said.

"With the work that has been completed we know we have maintained our ability to engage the proper damage control equipment to keep our ship operating," Green said.

Sailors working on the bridge and in combat will have better situation awareness to help keep TR safe, Green added.

"We accomplished roughly 90,000 man days of ship's force work," said TR Ship's Maintenance Manager Cmdr. Michael Kinsey. "We've modernized, upgraded, repaired and improved our habitability and material condition readiness."

The time between locking into dry dock and commencing fast cruise spanned 290 days. Within that time an unprecedented number of modifications were made to the ship.

"In the past year we've also accomplished the task of working together as a team over the whole DPIA project," said Ship's Serviceman 2nd Class Kayla Hale, who volunteered to become an assistant DPIA zone manager. Hale helped with supply and temporary services for the entire ship.

Everything from converters for hot water heaters and improved head facilities, to upgrades for the elevators and major work on two of the four catapults, was overhauled or replaced.

A major project while in dry dock was the removing, repairing and reinstalling of the ship's propellers (or screws). Two of the four were replaced altogether.

"The ship has been significantly modernized," Kinsey
said. "We've done extensive repairs and the ship is overall in far better condition than it was in February."

"We have 18 of our projected 50-year service life completed," said Kinsey. "We've got a long way to go and we need to constantly assess material conditions. We all need to be focused on the fact that this is a warship, a national asset, and not some place to just 'go to work.'"

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