The second-oldest vessel in the Navy is back on the job at Little Creek
By DAVE RESS | The Daily Press | Published: December 23, 2020
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Tribune News Service) — Sometimes even a maintenance facility needs maintenance, and after a four-month overhaul, Little Creek’s floating drydock will be ready to start working on vessels next month.
The drydock, named Dynamic, is 76 years old — the oldest active vessel in the Navy’s fleet after the sailing frigate USS Constitution.
But Dynamic is a lot busier than Old Ironsides.
“Dynamic has been operating a long time and remains a crucial asset to our sailors. We look forward to having her operational again,” said Dynamic’s commanding officer, Lt. Gaston Hatfield.
“We have several landing craft units that need emergent repairs,” Hatfield said. “We need Dynamic to get them back up and running so they can perform their mission.”
Work included an overhaul of Dynamic’s cranes and centering chain system and replacement of a flood valve and the ballast pumps — the critical equipment that can lower the drydock into the water so vessels can float in and then pump up that water, to lift and drain the dock, so repair worker can get in and do their jobs.
More than 26 square feet of the dry-dock’s metal sides were replaced as well.
“Dynamic Sailors replaced the flood valve, the vacuum priming system and repaired the low pressure air system on the dock .... It’s been a team effort,” said Hatfield.
Dynamic is a key element of the Mid Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center at Little Creek.
It handles work on Landing Craft Utility boats, patrol craft, Mine Countermeasure minesweepers, the smaller Minehunter Coastal ships designed to work in shallow waters close to shore and yard tugs.
It also works on the Army’s Landing Craft Mechanized vessels and small vessels for the Department of Homeland Security.
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