NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. –
Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) is the Center of Excellence for working anchor chains for America’s Navy within the enterprise. Each overhaul and inspection takes daily communication and planning between the forgers (Shop 11F), painters (Shop 71), and riggers (Shop 72) as the shipyard services chains for submarines and other vessels within the Fleet.
“Without these chains being in top condition, these vessels cannot deploy where they are needed so it’s important that we do our part to keep them in service and ready to go,” said Metal Forger Jesse Dalton.
Once a chain is delivered to NNSY, it is brought into the shop to begin stripping its paint with the wheelabrator and cleaning it for service. A lead mechanic then performs an inspection on the chain as the refurbishment process begins. Shop 11F houses the chains and performs the inspections, and coordinates with Shop 72 when riggers and crane operators are needed to perform lifts. In addition, Shop 71 ensures each chain is painted under specific conditions.
“It’s a lot of coordination and teamwork in order to get a chain operational and ready to return to its vessel,” said Metal Forger Eric Lynch. “Each of us plays an important role in order to get the job done.”
Shop 11 Inside Shop Manager Larry Williams, Jr. said, “Every morning we have a chain order in place, we discuss with the different shops and plan out the jobs for the day. We lay out exactly what’s needed and we work together to execute the plan.”
“Our teamwork across the board is excellent and helps us ensure success with every chain job we complete,” added Shop 72 Deputy Supervisor Devon Robinson. “Whenever a lift is needed, the team lays out the plan and my guys deliver. They always step up to the plate when they’re needed and give it their all. I couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved in making this happen. Together, we ensure NNSY is the Center of Excellence for chains.”
Together, the team completes chain refurbishments not only for the submarines and other vessels for the shipyard but for the Navy as a whole. The team recently completed one of their most complex jobs on a USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) anchor chain, overcoming the challenges presented with this new endeavor and succeeded in its refurbishment.
“During COVID-19, we saw a decline of forging work within the yard and we wanted to ensure that we were doing our part in service to our fleet,” said Shop 11F Metal Forger Leader John Sales. “We’ve been working hard to complete these chain jobs and look into tackling new challenges for our team. Now we’re even looking at returning to anchor chain work for the carriers, testing our skills with a chain for the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). This is work the shipyard hasn’t done in more than 10 years, and it’s something those on my team haven’t tackled before. But we’re ready and willing to build up our capabilities to get the job done.”
“This work is for the Navy and the more capabilities we can provide, the more we can provide as a team for the fleet,” said Dalton. “We want to assist our Navy in accomplishing the mission. When a job comes up, we all step up to do our part to get the job done with first-time quality so the chains can get back to what they are intended to do.”
Williams, Jr. added, “We’re proud to be the Center of Excellence and NNSY is ready and able to service the Navy’s chains whenever possible.”