Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visited the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) Aug. 31 to speak with shipyard and Navy leadership, and tour NASSCO facilities and ships currently undergoing maintenance availabilities.
Grady’s visit included a tour of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely, where he met with Sailors and shipyard workers to discuss industrial base readiness, naval integration and maintaining a culture of excellence.
“The partnerships between the U.S. Navy and ship repair companies, like NASSCO, are instrumental in maintaining our fleet readiness,” said Grady. “The civilian shipyard workforce is shoulder-to-shoulder with our Sailors getting our ships back out to sea in support of our national defense.”
During Grady’s tour of Kearsarge, he spoke with five distinguished Sailors that represent five different warfare areas, and he presented each with a coin to recognize their contributions during the shipyard period.
“Today Adm. Grady had a chance to meet with a corpsman whose been helping keep our crew healthy during a pandemic; he met with an engineer who is helping us get back our ship by bringing vital systems back on line, he also met with an IT specialist who is performing complex software configurations to upgrade our network communications suite,” said Capt. Neil Koprowski, Kearsarge’s commanding officer. “These were all second and third class petty officers making huge contributions to our command. He met other important Sailors too from Deck and Air departments, but the one thing they all had in common was above-and-beyond effort. Each had a specific role in the preservation, restoration, and improvement of our ship in getting ready to go back to sea.”
The Kearsarge team’s daily focus is on returning the ship to the fleet to support of operational tasking.
“The primary mission for every one of us, uniformed and civilian, is the operational readiness of our Navy,” said Grady. “A ready Navy today, with a commitment to personnel, training, and maintenance, will ensure we’re ready for the future. What I witnessed today on both Gravely and Kearsarge was just that commitment - prideful ownership of their ship, and taking all the steps needed to transition from maintenance to training and operating.”
Kearsarge is currently conducting a post-deployment maintenance availability following a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. For more information on Kearsarge visit www.facebook.com/USSKearsarge(LHD3).