Southwest Regional Maintenance Center's (SWRMC) Intermediate Level Production Shop fabricated its first ever wave break in-house for USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) prior to deployment in early 2020.
The wave break, officially known as the hand wheel barrier, is located on the forecastle in front of the break controls and anchor windlass control units. Its purpose is to protect Sailors from the anchor chain during anchoring evolutions. Paul Hamilton's was severely corroded and required replacement in order to return the ship to its original specification.
"One of our strategic goals for 2019 was to expand shipboard minor structural repair capabilities within our Intermediate Level Production Shop. The completion of this repair is a realization of those efforts and is helping provide innovative solutions to support on time delivery," said Capt. David Hart, commanding officer, SWRMC. "This is a major accomplishment displayed by these talented individuals and representation of why the fleet depends on us."
Civilian and military welders were responsible for the cutout and removal of the existing wave break that required weld build-up of the forecastle due to extensive corrosion. The new wave break was then fit tested and certified onboard Paul Hamilton with all final welds completed with a satisfactory weld inspection conducted by SWRMC non-destructive testing personnel. The ships first underway test was conducted prior to deployment.
"The manufacturing of the break took place in the Weld Shop by Gene Wilson and Douglas Stewart, two of our very talented ship-fitters," said Quintana Logan, SWRMC Production Controller. "This manufacturing was a big deal because it was the first job that we were able to utilize our newly acquired brake press; a piece of equipment used to bend and form metal into various shapes."