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Pennsylvania Wraps Up ERO, Completes Sea Trials Early

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120924-08

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ahron Arendes, Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs

BANGOR, Wash (NNS) -- USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) pulled into to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Sept. 19, successfully completing her sea trials, one day early, after a 46-month engineered refueling overhaul (ERO) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bremerton.

"The crew's performance was outstanding", said Pennsylvania Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Gustavo Gutierrez. "They were motivated and well trained and due to their performance, we were able to complete sea trials ahead of schedule."

The ERO, which began in December 2009, was a complex, major shipyard availability that will extend the submarine's service life another 20 or more years. During Pennsylvania's ERO, PSNS & IMF personnel refueled the vessel and upgraded many of the ship's systems.

According to Thom Bastian, Pennsylvania ERO assistant production superintendent, the project took approximately 500,000 man-days and $240 million dollars to complete.

"I'm happy to complete the project," said Bastian. We had many challenges along the way. ... it was a good effort between the shipyard and the ship."

Sea trials were the first step after ERO to get the ship back out to the fleet and operational.

"I have a smile on my face. I couldn't be happier to be back at Bangor. I want to thank all of the folks who have contributed to getting the ship through the ERO and a very successful sea trials. It's important to be back as it's the first step in many to get the ship back where it belongs, supporting the vitally important mission of strategic deterrence," said Gutierrez.

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