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‘Fighting Fitz’ Gains Valuable Training and Lidar Scans During Recent Visit

by Teri Carnicelli, NSWC PHD Public Affairs
25 October 2021
‘Fighting Fitz’ Gains Valuable Training and Lidar Scans During Recent Visit
SLIDESHOW | 2 images | ‘Fighting Fitz’ Gains Valuable Training and Lidar Scans During Recent Visit Tug boats guide USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) into port past the Surface Warfare Engineering Facility as she arrives at NSWC PHD on Sept. 20. Commissioned in 1995, this Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer is designed to operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups and underway replenishment groups. (U.S. Navy Photo by Eric Parsons/Released)
Between an innovative virtual training session for the crew and lidar scans that helped the ship receive updates of significant components, USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62)’s recent visit to NSWC PHD was not the average ship groom.

The “Fighting Fitz” arrival at Port Hueneme gave NSWC PHD Combat System Assessment Team (CSAT) members a chance to get aboard her for the first time since she underwent repairs of damage resulting from a 2017 collision with the Philippine-flagged merchant ship ACX Crystal.

At the time, the command’s In-Service Engineering Agent of the Future (ISEAotF) program team together with a cross-warfare center team digitally recorded the damaged areas using a lidar scanner, a tripod-mounted, single-person operated device that captures light, distance and range and creates a digital image and a data point cloud scan. However, the repaired areas had not subsequently been scanned, so the ISEAotF team made sure to scan those sections during USS Fitzgerald’s CSAT event.

As the scan data took weeks afterward to process, it was not available to CSAT members, who quickly discovered during their assessments that some of the repaired areas weren’t compatible with the ship’s original specifications.

Repairs after the accident included the ship’s hull and superstructure as well as internal spaces. Additional repairs and upgrades included mechanical, electrical, combat system and command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems. Huntington Ingalls Industries also refitted the ship with Maintenance Assist Modules (MAMs) cabinets and other equipment that was not necessarily compatible with the ship’s original design, so one of the CSAT team projects was to track down and install corresponding MAMs that matched the replaced parts, explained Quincy Seawright, CSAT lead.

“The one item that was particularly challenging was finding the correct fit and makeup for the MAMs cabinets and its components,” Seawright said. “These items weren’t readily available, so it took our team and ship’s force collaboration to get the ship back on track.”

Fortunately, while USS Fitzgerald was in port recently, the original post-accident scan team was also visiting the command’s ISEAotF team, and the two teams were able to complete the vital follow-up digital scans. After processing, the scans will be provided to the ship’s officers and made available in a centralized database housed at Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific in San Diego.

The ship arrived at NSWC PHD for its groom with only one significant issue needing repair and departed with equipment operational capability scores of .80 or higher across the board, meaning the ship’s systems were working with only minor discrepancies or minimal corrosion, and with no effect on performance. The highest score obtainable is 1.0.

More than 20 systems were assessed, including ship’s consoles and cooling water systems. For the consoles, the team encountered minor issues with circuit card assemblies and missing cables or connectors.

CSAT members also inspected the sonar, SPY radar and Command and Decision (CND) cooling water skids. The liquid cooling system consists of a seawater or a chilled fresh water section that cools the distilled water circulating through the electronic equipment. Seawright said the team repaired various items, from O-rings to stainless steel hoses that were beyond their 20-year installation dates needed to be replaced.

Technical manuals and publications for the Vertical Launching System (VLS), MK-160 gun computer system, Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System and Harpoon Weapon System (HWS) were all evaluated and replaced with updated documents, as needed.

In addition, the command’s Logistics Support Assistance Team reviewed the ship’s allowance parts and equipment lists as well as on-board repair parts for the Aegis Weapon System, VLS and HWS.

“The thorough system testing provided by the CSAT team has helped prepare USS Fitzgerald and her crew for any tasking that may come our way,” said Cmdr. Scott Wilbur, commanding officer of USS Fitzgerald, after the CSAT work was finished. “I am leaving Port Hueneme with complete confidence in my team and the equipment we maintain and operate.”

USS Fitzgerald System Test Officer Brandin Singletary agreed, adding, “This was the best technical and logistical support for Aegis combat system I have seen in my 22-year career.”

Ship’s force also was given the opportunity to experience two key trainings in labs at the command.

Crew members participated in a Single Ship Synthetic (S3T), Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) training using the recently installed Navy Continuous Training Environment (NCTE) node, which provided scenario generation and control within the Battle Force Information Center inside the Surface Warfare Engineering Facility (SWEF).

NCTE enables the warfighter to train from anywhere in the world within a large number of virtual and realistic threat situations. The NCTE tool consists of networks, simulations, simulation routing equipment, data translation devices and live training range systems that operate in conjunction with the Navy Enterprise Tactical Training Network in a virtual environment.

NSWC PHD developed and delivered a complex scenario of multiple anti-ship cruise missile vignettes to help meet DDG 62’s training requirements.

“The training provided with real systems and in the labs at Port Hueneme will greatly improve our self-sufficiency better preparing us for deployment,” Singletary said. “The instruction provided on LVC training will be instrumental in advanced tactical training for the ship moving forward.”

In addition to the S3T LVC training, USS Fitzgerald Sailors participated in shipboard preservation training off and on ship, underway replenishment training and Interior Communications Standard Modules training.

For the shipboard preservation training, subject matter experts provided crew members with hands-on training on the NCTE system at the SWEF. The NCTE system created scenarios involving various system casualties that the Sailors could troubleshoot.

“The CSAT was successful overall due to the entire NSWC PHD team providing every resource available, including training and free-issue parts,” Seawright said. “The (crew of the) ship was receptive to our training and gained invaluable knowledge on how to troubleshoot and fix casualties in a self-sufficient manner.”

Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2841 Rendova Rd. San Diego, CA 92155-5490
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Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2841 Rendova Rd. San Diego, CA 92155-5490

This is an official
U.S. Navy website

U.S. Pacific Fleet
2841 Rendova Rd
San Diego, CA

Public Affairs Officer

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