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NEWS | Nov. 23, 2021

FMR Completes Underwater Hub Replacement Job

By Eben Kinney, FMR Project Superintendent

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – Fleet Maintenance Repair (FMR) and Dive and Crane & Rigging Teams completed an underwater hub replacement on USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) bravo piers. The dedicated Crane and Rigging teams removed all five propeller blades, then installed a cofferdam, which allowed them to work underwater in a dry environment to remove the old hub and install the new one.

Hub replacements are depot-level repairs typically conducted in dry-dock. However, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), with the assistance of Rolls Royce, completed the job waterborne in just 18 days, 12 days ahead of the 30 day schedule. This was based on the last time that the Navy accomplished a waterborne hub replacement in 2020. The PHNSY & IMF team also finished the job 19 days faster from the first time the job was completed in 2014.

Waterborne hub replacements are very complex operations and are not conducted often. This is the third time in naval history, and only the second time on an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, that a waterborne hub replacement has been accomplished. The combined PHNSY & IMF team worked tirelessly for weeks to develop a plan to execute the work with safety and efficiency as their biggest concerns. The repair plan required the team to work around the clock to swiftly get the ship underway and back to being ready to fight.

“Trust and a dedicated Crane and Rigging team were key contributors to the team’s success,” said Scott Heineman, NAVSEA 00C5. “Teams that exhibit high levels of trust are more likely to utilize each other’s skills and strengths, admit mistakes and limitations embracing them as opportunities for growth, and generally produce higher quality work towards the common goal.”

In the last 20 years, NAVSEA 00C5, has proven that Underwater Ship Husbandry saves money. It often eliminates the need for dry dock repairs, extends the interval between dry dockings and minimizes the amount of ship time spent in dry dock. USS John Paul Jones waterborne hub replacement was no exception to the rule. The resource budget allotted for this work was $677,000 while the team only expended $445,000 for a savings of $231,825 all while returning the ship to mission in record time.

“It’s exciting for the entire maintenance community to do this type of high profile first time work here at Pearl Harbor because we are building a skill set that we haven’t had in the past,” said FMRs Assistant Project Superintendent Rich Ulmer. “It’s amazing what the team has accomplished


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