Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ike Enters Norfolk Naval Shipyard to Begin Availability Period

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Yasmine Muhammad
NORFOLK (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) entered her new berth at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), Sept. 10, to begin a scheduled docking planned incremental availability (DPIA).

Ike departed Naval Station Norfolk in the morning, transited the Elizabeth River and reached NNSY a few hours later. During the "dead-stick" transit, Sailors on the bridge maneuvered the ship while tugboats moved and guided the ship into place for the upcoming dry-dock period at the shipyard.

The ship is slated to spend 14 months at NNSY receiving upgrades and improvements necessary to maintain its optimal running efficiency. Ike will go through both ship's-force maintenance and contractor work to obtain this goal.

Capt. Stephen T. Koehler, Ike's commanding officer, said he was looking forward to the shipyard period and the work Ike and her shipyard teammates will do.

"I know that we, as a team, are more than prepared to meet the challenges of this shipyard period," Koehler said. "The maintenance we are scheduled to perform will be very beneficial for Ike and is essential to ensure Ike is ready to meet any challenge in her next deployment. We are all fired up to truly get started on our availability and look forward already to joining the fleet."

The Dwight D. Eisenhower crew has been preparing for the move to NNSY since the middle of August when IKE entered its Smart Start period. Smart Start is a combined NNSY and IKE effort to get the ship ready for its shipyard maintenance period.