Portsmouth Naval Shipyard safely undocked USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) from the shipyard’s Dry Dock #1 on schedule December 14.
Completion of this key event continues the critical path to deliver Santa Fe, but also maintains the vital construction timeline for the Dry Dock #1 super flood basin at the shipyard. The facility construction projects around Dry Dock #1 directly support the Navy's Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program designed to improve the efficiency of the naval shipyards to better execute maintenance and modernization of ships and submarines to provide the Navy the nation needs.
Santa Fe and her crew of 16 officers and 127 enlisted personnel arrived at the shipyard on Aug. 15, 2019. Project Superintendent Gabe Griego, along with the project team and Ship’s Force, recognized they had an aggressive schedule to keep but knew they were equal to the task.
“Each member of Team Santa Fe has really taken ownership of their work to deliver first-time quality,” said Griego. “Despite the many challenges we faced, the team demonstrated resiliency and teamwork that lead us to safely undock on-schedule. While we still have a significant amount of work and testing to accomplish, each member of the project team and every support shop and code throughout the shipyard should be very proud of this accomplishment – it was a total shipyard team effort.”
The business of modernizing the Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarines is complex and demanding. However, performing this vital work during the COVID-19 pandemic brings new obstacles and challenges to overcome. Utilizing Portsmouth’s extensive Defense-in-Depth strategy to minimize the risk of coronavirus spread enabled the shipyard to meet this significant milestone as they drive to deliver Santa Fe back to the fleet.
“Every individual should take pride in their contribution to the operation of the shipyard over this challenging year and in the crowning achievement of safely undocking Santa Fe on schedule,” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Daniel Ettlich. “We were successful because we embraced the truth of the obstacles we faced, and leaned-in with a bias for action to drive to a resolution. This success serves as an encouraging example that despite any challenges the future holds, Portsmouth craftsmanship and dedication to first-time quality endures.”
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is America’s leader for attack submarine maintenance, repair, and modernization. The on-time completion of submarine availabilities is critical to maintaining the U.S. Navy’s maritime superiority. As a NAVSEA operated field activity, PNSY is committed to expanding our undersea advantage and maximizing the material readiness of the fleet by safely delivering first-time quality, on time, and on budget.