Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) departed Fleet Activities Sasebo after completing an eight day voyage repair availability (VRAV).
The VRAV comes nearly four months into Spruance’s scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. The eight-day repair period included critical maintenance of navigation, combat systems and engineering equipment vital to continuing the mission, conducting cooperative security engagements with regional partner nations and enhancing maritime security relationships during the ship’s rotational deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
Voyage repair availabilities require detailed coordination between the ship’s crew, contracted personnel and Navy repair coordinators to ensure ships like Spruance can take full advantage of availabilities to maximize operational effectiveness while on deployment.
“The self-sufficiency of our crew while at sea is second-to-none, but having an opportunity to complete major repairs and conduct significant maintenance in Sasebo was critical to keeping Spruance fully mission capable,” said Cmdr. Christopher Ivey, Spruance Executive Officer. “Japan is one of our strongest allies and also has one of the best ship repair capabilities anywhere. We are grateful for this voyage repair availability and are taking full advantage of it.”
In addition to the VRAV, Spruance conducted shipboard training and exercises to maintain readiness, with an emphasis on in-port emergency team damage control training, rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) operations, and anti-terrorism exercises.
“It was really rewarding to have the opportunity to pull into port and take care of deck maintenance and conduct preservation on the ship that we can’t do at sea” said Lt. Sean Lawlor, Operations Officer aboard Spruance. “When you have the ability to pull into port on deployment and set a plan into action whether it’s training or maintenance, you can drastically lengthen and improve your time at-sea.”