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Moored Training Ship Daniel Webster Towed to Charleston More Than Three Weeks Early

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120823-15

By Michael Brayshaw, Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Moored Training Ship Daniel Webster (MTS 626) began its tow from Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) down to Charleston, S.C., for the final quarter of its 16-month drydocking engineered maintenance availability (DEMA) Aug. 21 - more than three weeks early.

In addition to an early arrival to NNSY and an early undocking, the availability is also currently under budget.

Some of the major work performed on Webster thus far includes the installation of a large tank package, main engine repair, pump and valve replacements, and a complete exterior paint job.

"The real key to success was that we were prepared, we had time to get the training we needed with Project Management [fundamentals], and in executing along with the Officer in Charge, we emphasized every day that we were a team," said Project Superintendent Billy Cox. "Everything was done in a great team atmosphere; there was no 'us' and 'them' with shipyard and Ship's Force."

According to Cox, the last few months will comprise of testing and restoring the ship for unrestricted training.

"This is my best shipyard experience ever, and I've had about eight or nine," said Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Chris Foster, MTS tow coordinator. "We had a lot of support from the project. Our Integrated Project Team Development laid the foundations early on to build our relationships on, and that really helped."

MTS Plant Master Chief Machnist's Mate Tim Riley said it's been a "very successful evolution from the start last July. We've had outstanding support from Norfolk Naval Shipyard from day one to now getting us back home and finishing up in Charleston."

Cox praised the MTS team members and production shop personnel supporting the project, getting the work done and overcoming unseen issues on a day-to-day basis, such as Nuclear Assistant Project Superintendent, Doug Phillips. "We had a great plan, so whenever things came up, we were able to mitigate those and continue executing," said Phillips. "The shipyard and crew worked hand-in-hand; the zone managers, supervisors and mechanics all did an excellent job working with the boat."

Since its decommissioning in 1990, Webster has served as a moored training ship preparing Sailors to operate active submarines, and is permanently berthed at Charleston's Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit. Five training crews have concurrently undergone training during the boat's availability.

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