USA: CVN69 Prepares for Shipyard

After back-to-back deployments, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN69) (IKE) will be headed to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth for some necessary maintenance during a scheduled docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) period.

A DPIA period is a time for a ship to undergo work and to receive needed improvements to maintain its optimal running efficiency. Over the course of the DPIA, IKE will go through both ship’s-force maintenance and contractor work to obtain this goal.

“This work includes things like changing out the tile, getting your space painted, fixing your ladders and doors, and getting your berthing worked on,” said Master Chief Damage Controlman Terry D. Wylie, IKE’s Engineering department master chief. “The other side of this will be the contractors working on a variety of different big jobs.”

IKE starts preparing for her shipyard period Friday beginning with a process called Smart Start.

“Smart Start is designed to transition IKE from the enormously successful operational mode to the different mode of maintenance,” said Capt. Steve Koehler, IKE’s commanding officer. “The focus of effort for all of us is ensuring conditions are set throughout the ship to start the maintenance on day one, hard-firing on all cylinders.”

Koehler advised IKE Sailors to take the necessary steps to make certain they are prepared for their time in Portsmouth.

“Our Sailors should ensure that their required training is complete, ensure personal gear and effects are off the ship, and mentally be ready to work in the shipyard environment,” Koehler said.

In addition to the scheduled repairs and improvements, Koehler said the upcoming time IKE will be in Portsmouth will provide Sailors the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

“Our challenge is to fill our days at work with production, testing and training so we can hold on to our schedule. That will give a predictably and stability to the workday that will allow the crew to reset and spend planned time with friends and family,” Koehler said.

Safety will also be a point of focus for IKE Sailors during their stay in Portsmouth. All hands are required to watch a set of training videos covering safety topics to help protect them while working in the shipyards.

“A ship is inherently a dangerous place to begin with, but when you add the complexity of the work going on in the shipyard, it can really become a significantly hazardous place to work,” Wylie said. “We put this training out to help Sailors identify what’s safe to do and what’s not in the shipyard.”

IKE is scheduled to head to the shipyard in September for a 14-month maintenance period.


Press Release, August 7, 2013