November 19, 2020 – In this challenging pandemic, Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) rose to the challenge of completing its mission to fix ships and get them back to the fleet. In the most recent development of creative solutions to meet this challenge, Temporary Services (Code 990) personnel, took it upon themselves to support the unprecedented and start the dry dock build for USS Pasadena (SSN 752) while USS San Francisco (SSN 711) was still in dock to keep things on schedule.
Successfully achieving this task required both collaboration and creativity. “The SSN 711 project, the SSN 752 project, Code 990, Docking Department (Code 340,) and Berthing Department (Code 341), and Rigging Department (Code 740) all came together and decided to do a partial build and as much as we could until the San Francisco pulled out,” Waterfront Operations Manager Richard Bundy (Code 990) explained. “Once the San Francisco pulled out, we could pull out everything that was under it and finish the dry dock build for Pasadena so it made its docking day. Once this ship left, we already had half the work done.”
The material would already been ordered and cut for the dry dock build, so the team already had a head start on their head start, but there was still plenty of work ahead of them—and not without a few challenges. As Bundy put it, “coming down into the dock to start construction prior to this ship leaving required a lot of coordination with Lifting and Handling (Code 740) to get our supplies down into the dock.”
Additionally, the work was new to the code’s mechanics as it was their group’s first time doing a dry dock build up like this. “Normally when we come down into this dock, there’s nobody in this dock but us and our equipment; now that there was another ship, every other shop and code was working down here,” Bundy said. “A lot of scaffolding and a lot of services were coming down all at once. Any and all equipment that’s coming off of this boat in the dry dock had to come up and out.”
The team made it clear that the feat would not have been possible without the level of teamwork it involved. “Code 740 Rigging (Shop 72) dayshift couldn’t support us because of project work, so their night shift people have been a really big help for us,” Code 990 Docking Manager Scott Stuart explained. “They were the ones who made sure that our materials made it in and out.” He added, “I would also like to thank Code 990 Shipwrights (Shop 89) Docking Supervisor Dunta Sutton who spent long days and nights in the dock training, teaching and mentoring the mechanics to make sure the build-up was spot on. Without the hard work of Sutton and the mechanics, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
Not only did the codes accomplish what they needed to do through teamwork, but they also were committed to the shipyard’s C.O.R.E. values while doing it. “The mechanics are the key players who worked outside the box to do this build with everything that’s going on around them,” Bundy stated. Loftsman Matt Earley (Code 990) also added, “They had to make a huge sacrifice of their time to get the Navy’s ship in dock on time. Seven days a week and twelve hours a day is a lot to ask of someone. We’re management, so we receive the instructions, but they are the ones that have had to make the sacrifice and they did a good job.”
Bundy said, “For everyone to come together and figure out how to keep the SSN 752 on schedule was essential to the mission. If that isn’t C.O.R.E., I don’t know what is.” Now, the dry dock where Pasadena resides will not only be its temporary home, but also a testimony to how NNSY’s workforce can overcome adversity through teamwork.