Fly-Away Team Replaces Gas Turbine Engine on USS Jason Dunham
Navy News Service
Story Number: NNS150219-15
Release Date: 2/19/2015 1:56:00 PM
By Dan Smithyman, Southeast Regional Maintenance Center Public Affairs
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- When the gas turbine engine that powers one of the generators aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) failed, a fly-away team from Mayport, Florida, was dispatched from the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC) with engine in-hand.
The ship was deployed in the Caribbean when two of its three generators experienced some issues and pulled into port at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"Their number two generator had problems with an electrical breaker, and number three had a bearing failure on the gas turbine engine that powers the generator, which is the engine we replaced," said Chief Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical)(SW) Maurice Waller.
The seven-man fly-away team from SERMC consisted of five active-duty Sailors and two civilians. Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class (SW) Kristopher Mitchell, team leader, saw this as an opportunity to bring to bear the capabilities of SERMC and his technicians. The team procured a new engine, gathered tools, and assigned the right personnel to travel to a remote location for an urgent repair that would ultimately enable Jason Dunham to return to its regularly scheduled deployment.
"There was a lot of coordination between the ship and SERMC before we left," Mitchell said. "We had to make sure we had all the right tools, parts and people for this job. It's not like here (in Mayport) where we can come back to the shop if we need more parts or tools."
The team left Sunday, Feb. 8 via C-130 aircraft from Naval Air Station Jacksonville loaded with a new engine, connex box with tools and rigging gear, and a special van that would transport everything to the ship. By Wednesday evening, Feb. 11, the engine was replaced, operationally tested and the ship was underway again Thursday.
"The ship's force prepped everything for us before we arrived, meaning they removed the module wall to access the engine, and disconnected the fuel lines and electrical connections," Waller said.
"We removed the broken engine and installed the new one," said Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class (SW) Nico Carter, one of the team members. "We also changed out the PTO shaft."
Carter explained that the PTO shaft is a power take off shaft that connects the gas turbine engine to the reduction gear, which is connected to the actual generator. The team performed troubleshooting on the entire system to ensure safe and optimum performance before they called the job successful.
"This was a good opportunity for us, and a great experience for me," said Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class (SW) Eric Megargel, one of the technicians.
Mitchell said the first day lasted more than 14 hours as the team worked to remove the broken engine, which weighs about 1,600 pounds and measures eight feet long. The greatest challenge, he said, was lifting the broken engine out from deep inside the bottom of the engineering room, through vertical trunks and narrow passages of the ship, and then bringing in the new engine in reverse order.
"We do our own rigging," Mitchell said. "It's an ownership thing. We want to make sure our engine is handled with care, and no damage occurs because of a chainfall banging a fuel nozzle or something like that."
Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class Matthew Ressler was heavily involved in the rigging evolution. "It took some creativity, but this is normal for a GSM," he said.
"It was a one-shot deal to get it right," Mitchell said. "And we did."
The electrical breaker issue on the number two generator was repaired prior to the number three engine change-out. A sister team from Norfolk's Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center made that repair.
With all three generators back on line, Jason Dunham sailed out of Guantanamo Bay, and the SERMC fly-away team returned to Mayport in time to celebrate Valentine's Day with their loved ones.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|