USA: Pre-Commissioning Unit Arlington Completes First Crew Certification Phase

Pre-Commissioning Unit Arlington Completes First Crew Certification Phase

Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Arlington (LPD 24) completed the two-day Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) Crew Certification Phase One administrative evaluation Oct. 22, while the ship is under construction in the Huntington-Ingalls Industries’ shipyard.

The inspection, performed by nine members of the amphibious transport dock ship’s type commander from Norfolk, Va., reviewed the command’s administration, policies, training and warfare areas to ensure the crew can safely operate their ship at sea following delivery.

“Arlington did an outstanding job,” said Lt. Tim Henderson, the SURFLANT team’s amphibious readiness officer. “It was evident that the ship’s leadership and crew were very engaged.”

Arlington has been preparing for this phase of crew certification since “day one” – almost two years – said Prospective Commanding Officer Cmdr. Darren Nelson.

“Overall, our programs are in really good shape,” he said. “I’m very proud of my command’s senior leadership, as well as all the first and second class petty officers, who stepped up and made this a success on the deckplates.”

The second and final phase of crew certification, scheduled to take place during the last week of February, will include material inspections of the ship.

“We cannot perform a material inspection of the ship yet, because most of our equipment is still in warehouses, and the Navy doesn’t own the ship,” Nelson explained. The Navy is scheduled to take delivery of Arlington Dec. 7.

Arlington’s next milestone will be acceptance trials, Oct. 28 through Nov. 2.

“Huntington-Ingalls Industries will be showing the ship to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, and if everything looks good, they will make a recommendation to the secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations to accept the ship for delivery,” Nelson explained. “Once the secretary of the Navy has given the green light, the supervisor of shipbuilding will accept the ship on behalf of the Navy, and they will sign the ship over to the crew of Arlington.”

Arlington is named for Arlington County, Va., home of the Pentagon, in honor of the 184 victims and heroes who lost their lives during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack there.

Arlington is the eighth in the Navy’s San Antonio-class of ships, designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessels ever put to sea. The third in the U.S. fleet to bear the name, Arlington will be commissioned in early 2013 and homeported in Norfolk, Va. The ship combines 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and warfighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft and will be capable of taking nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines into harm’s way.

Naval Today Staff, October 31, 2012; Image: US Navy