Admiral commends USS Chosin, shipyard for teamwork, achievement

The guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65), left, and the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) participate in a surface-to-air missile exercise (SAMEX) off the coast of Hawaii as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 exercises. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW) Mark Logico

Katie Vanes

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

Karen S. Spangler

Managing Editor, Ho`okele

With the completion of a lengthy and challenging maintenance period, the crew of USS Chosin (CG 65) is preparing for upcoming exercises and operations this summer.

The perseverance and determination of Chosin Sailors during the changeout period was recognized by Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, in a bravo zulo message. “You fought through each challenge and overcame innumerable hurdles, all the while maintaining a positive attitude,” Ponds said.

“This attitude is what has made you so successful throughout the numerous extensions and schedule changes,” the admiral said. “Teamwork is the essential ingredient in achieving success when facing significant obstacles. Your ability to conduct multiple maintenance availabilities simultaneously is a momentous feat.”

For a small shop, the gas turbine engine mechanics play a big role in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s fleet maintenance surface (FMR) work, according to a shipyard spokesman. With only two dozen combined military and civilian workers, the shop recently completed the large engine reduction gear work package on Chosin (CG 65) on Jan. 31.

“The hard work and achievement of your shipyard workers, contractors and Sailors has been impressive throughout the many delays and allowed for Chosin’s successful completion of EDSRA [extended docking selected restricted availability],” Ponds said.

“Your exceptional efforts reflect great credit on each of you and clearly demonstrates that the spirit of teamwork and camaraderie are alive and well in Pearl Harbor,” he said.

In discussing the work of the personnel at the shipyard and referring to the unique mixture of military and civilian workers in the shop, Bill Sullivan, Chosin project superintendent, said, “”It doesn’t matter if they’re wearing a uniform or not – these personnel are the only ones who perform engine changeouts at Pearl Harbor.”

“They work around the clock, on weekends and holidays, when necessary, to get the work done to meet the fleet’s deployment schedule,” Sullivan said.

Chosin was due to finish her availability last December, but testing revealed that two of the ship’s four propulsion engine reduction gears were inoperative. The job required nearly 600 personnel-days of work. Over the Christmas holiday, Chosin ordered two new clutches, and work began Jan. 7.

Sullivan recognized Howard Kilpatrick and Derek Teruya, engineering technicians at the shipyard, for providing technical oversight in the main reduction gear, “which made the work go much faster,” he said. Sullivan also mentioned that Josh Casserino provided engineering oversight on any challenges during the maintenance.

“The riggers did a great job as well. Each clutch they lifted weighs 700 pounds with a tolerance of less than an inch,” said Sullivan, referring to the proximity of the new clutch in the engine reduction gear.

New work including fuel oil piping, structural repairs, testing and ship’s training is ongoing on Chosin, which is projected to complete availability in March.

“The engine shop works hard on every single job, but reduction gear work requires specific open machinery requirements. They are detailed, important to follow and require a great deal of trust that work is done properly,” Sullivan said. “Chosin’s commanding officer and chief engineer have communicated to me their absolute trust and confidence in our gas turbine shop mechanics and technicians, and our workers should be proud of that compliment,” he added.

“Your invincible spirit has shown brightly. Invictus!” Ponds said.

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Category: News