Shipyard keeps USS Lake Champlain on maneuvering schedule

(Via Ho’okele News)

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard recently made emergent repairs to USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), enabling the Ticonderoga-class, guided missile cruiser to remain on schedule to participate in subsequent maneuvers.

Shop 38 mechanical, shop 72 rigging civilians and shipyard Sailors from the diesel and gas turbine sections worked around the clock over two days to repair Lake Champlain.

“A ‘job well’ done to the shipyard for their support and superior performance,” said Capt. Christopher Barnes, Lake Champlain commanding officer.

“Your hard work has contributed greatly to the successful bearing replacement of 2A LSB. Your professionalism and dedication resulted in the completion of a major voyage repair within 48 hours and allowed us to perform our duty at sea.”

Lake Champlain returned from a recent Pacific deployment needing her line shaft bearing repaired or replaced. The line bearing is a key component on any ship. The part plays a key role in supporting and aligning the main shaft.

The replacement bearings on board Lake Champlain were unusable due to excessive corrosion and could not be repaired. Finding a replacement bearing was the real challenge, as a new or refurbished bearing could not be flown in from the mainland to complete the repair in time for the ship to join planned maneuvers at sea.

USS Chosin (CG 65) volunteered to give up one of her bearings to Lake Champlain as Chosin was moored here and not scheduled for a mission in the near future.

The shipyard’s and ship’s personnel began removing both 350-pound line shaft bearings from Lake Champlain as well as the bearing from Chosin. Chosin’s spare bearing was then moved to Lake Champlain. Then the real work of correctly installing the part began.

“We needed to make sure the new bearing feasibly fit, according to our engineering criteria, to include alignment readings, clearance readings, etc.,” said Ken Waid, shop 38 supervisor. “What made this tough was that the installation needed to be done in a short amount of time. Normally on a job like this, we have a lot more time to make it happen.”

Another challenge to be met was that shop 38 is made up of 21 gas turbine specialists, enginemen and machinist mates who are only minimally familiar with this type of surface ship work. They had never accomplished this degree of work in so short a time, but that didn’t stop them from learning quickly and exerting maximum effort. The Sailors put the mission first, determined to work together and meet the deadline to get the ship back to sea.

By Sunday morning, the work was complete, exceeding all expectations.

“The keys to completing the mission were the enthusiasm and willingness to learn on the part of our shop 38 Sailors,” said Waid. “They embraced this new kind of training and met the challenge of getting the job done.”

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