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NEWS | Oct. 27, 2020

Warfare Center Team Quickly Relocates to San Diego to Assess USS Russell

By Teri Carnicelli NSWC Port Hueneme Division

When USS Russell (DDG 59) officers recently learned the ship would stay at its homeport in San Diego, California rather than travel to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) for its Combat Systems Assessment and Training (CSAT), the crew immediately alerted NSWC PHD.

Showing flexibility and a mission-first attitude, the Port Hueneme Division team quickly changed gears and travelled to San Diego.

A total of 28 personnel supported the scaled-back CSAT, with 19 traveling to San Diego from PHD. Among those 19 were six employees from the Radar Maintenance Assistance Team based at the command’s Virginia Beach Detachment, who had already completed their 14-day Restriction of Movement at PHD. The command is part of a travel “bubble” within Southern California, meaning that driving between Port Hueneme and San Diego does not require additional ROM time.

Another nine people joined the CSAT team from the Aegis Modernization Team (AMT) based in San Diego.

“We really wanted to get up to Port Hueneme and that unfortunately didn’t happen,” said Cmdr. Ryan Rogers, commanding officer of USS Russell. “The fact that the PHD team was able to turn on a dime and make this happen in San Diego is a boon for the ship.”

Fourteen combat system areas were assessed, including radar systems, camera and video systems and displays, and consoles with an eye toward interior corrosion issues that could be caused by condensation. In addition, a Logistics Special Assistance Team and a Maintenance Assist Module Special Assistance Team reviewed associated systems.

“We went from a normal 24 systems assessed to about 16 systems,” explained Combat Systems Project Engineer William “Lee” Miller from NSWC PHD. “The ship’s crew was professional and accommodated all our assessors to make sure the event went down without any issues. The ship completed the CSAT on time and with a higher level of readiness.”

The USS Russell CSAT out brief, in which the scope of work was detailed when nearly complete, was held Oct. 8 in the AMT office in San Diego, with NSWC PHD’s leadership team and others participating via Microsoft Teams.

“I’m extremely proud of our entire team that flexed with the late shift to improve 14 of 14 assessed combat systems elements on USS Russell, a significant contribution to the ship’s readiness for deployment,” said NSWC PHD Lt. Cmdr. Bob Smith. “We are committed to improving fleet readiness as our No. 1 priority at PHD, so we’ll always find a way to get these CSATs completed.”

In addition, 353 hours of training were provided to ship’s force along with free-issue parts obtained for the ship.

“The training piece is critical,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kelly Craft, USS Russell executive officer. “I can’t say enough about the training that Kevin Brown (from Virginia Beach) gave to my SPY team, both in maintenance practices and in operational practices as well. Getting an (In-Service Engineering Agent) on board down here in San Diego was a huge win. It was really only about USS Russell and making us better. And we are really a better ship for it.”