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Bunker Hill Undergoes Cruiser Modernization

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080320-10
Release Date: 3/20/2008 3:45:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW) Brian Gaines, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) began preparations to install new technologies aboard the ship, at the General Dynamics/National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard, March 18.

The year-long modernization process will enable Bunker Hill with cutting-edge technologies, with emphasis on combat systems and the power plant.

"Cruiser modernization is basically broken down into three parts: hull, mechanical and electrical, and combat systems upgrades," said combat systems officer, Lt. Cmdr. Tim Long. "Bunker Hill is the first cruiser to go through both parts simultaneously."

Work began in mid-February to remove the former systems on the Ticonderoga-class cruiser. The upgrades will result in fewer hands required to stand watches, and ultimately, a smaller crew.

"There will be significant changes in the way we do business," said Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class (SW) Guy Huff, leading petty officer, Bunker Hill main propulsion division. "Besides needing fewer people, everything will also be more user-friendly."

Long added that many Bunker Hill Sailors are attending advanced training to learn to use the new technologies. Consequently, some Sailors may be expected to learn skills outside their rates.

"With the upgrades in engineering, I will be (somewhat) acting as an IT (information systems technician)," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 2nd Class (SW) Alex Foley, Bunker Hill Engineering Department.
"Bunker Hill will still be the 'Sword of the Sea' with our cutting-edge technology."

Bunker Hill expects to complete the modernization process early in 2009.

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