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NEWS | Jan. 13, 2023

USS John Warner Enters Maintenance Availability

By Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs Office Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) personnel successfully docked the submarine USS John Warner (SSN 785) for the shipyard’s first Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Virginia-class Extended Dry-docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA), Jan. 11.

A CNO availability is more extensive than other maintenance availabilities and is scheduled with the approval of the CNO. During an EDSRA, the submarine is drydocked to enable hull, propulsion system, and modernization upgrades, allowing the submarine to remain fully operational for its planned service life.

“This is a first not only for America’s Shipyard but our corporation as a whole, as we dock our first Virginia Class Block III, providing critical repair and modernization upgrades to one of our nation’s greatest assets,” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Dianna Wolfson. “Our extensive preparation has positioned us well for a very strong start to this availability.” 

Block III refers to submarines procured during the third, or Block III, Virginia Class acquisition contract. Block III submarines are redesigned, enabling a cost avoidance of approximately 20 percent in acquisition costs.

“Preparations for this availability required extensive teaming and learning from both Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility  and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as they have executed Virginia-class CNO availabilities in the past,” said Jed Sweigart, project superintendent. “The project team has been teaming extensively to complete the work package. This partnership has been excellent as we prepare to service John Warner.”

Commissioned Aug. 1, 2015, John Warner is the 12th Virginia-class attack submarine and the first ship to bear the name of Senator John Warner, former Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia who passed away May 21, 2021. Warner served as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1999 to 2001, and again from 2003 to 2007. The submarine, under the operational command of Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, arrived at NNSY following a deployment where it directly supported the nation’s maritime strategy.

“We have aligned on goals and standards using proven Project Management Fundamentals and, with valuable input from our stakeholders, self-assessed some of our biggest challenges on this project.  Now as we move into execution, we can self-correct and improve by fixing or elevating barriers as they arise all while continuing to build a winning and unified team founded on ownership, trust and respect. We do have an exceptional team,” said Wolfson. 

Wolfson added, this Get Real, Get Better Framework will absolutely keep us laser focused as ONE TEAM serving our ONE MISSION. We will also be leveraging Naval Sustainment System – Shipyards initiatives through extensive planning to ensure on-time execution – working together with our fellow shipyards to streamline the best Virginia Class practices and processes for on-time delivery.”