August 03, 2005
Navy hopes old floating drydock will ease capacity shortage
By Christopher Munsey
Times staff writer
In a bid to address a shortage of private drydock capacity for Navy ships in the Pacific Northwest, the Navy has leased the World War II-era floating drydock Resolute to a private shipyard in the Puget Sound, Wash., area.
Military Sealift Command chartered the heavy lift ship Mighty Servant I with a $4 million contract to move the drydock from Norfolk, Va., to Seattle this summer.
To load their cargo, heavy lift ships flood ballast tanks to submerge a long section between the bow and stern. Cargo is then floated over and positioned, the ballast tanks are slowly pumped out and the ship rises.
Carrying Resolute, Mighty Servant I left an anchorage near the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay on July 10. Taking the long way around the tip of South America, the heavy lift ship should reach Puget Sound by the end of August.
The Navy signed a five-year lease for Resolute with Todd Pacific Shipyard, a private shipyard that does a lot of ship maintenance work for the Navy, said Patricia Dolan, a Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman in Washington, D.C.
Planning to lease and relocate Resolute from Norfolk to Puget Sound started in August 2004, Dolan said.
Delivered to the Navy in January 1945, Resolute was modified in 1982. Following modifications, Resolute drydocked more than 130 submarines before being deactivated in 2003.
Floating Drydock Resolute Ends 58 Years of Service to Navy
Release Date: 11/7/2003 11:40:00 PM
By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Mark O. Piggott, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- After 58 years of service to the U.S. Navy, the Medium Auxiliary Floating Drydock Resolute (AFDM-10) was inactivated at a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk Nov. 7.
Resolute was one of a kind, the last of her class serving submarines on the East Coast. “Resolute is an engineering marvel,” said Capt. Bruce E. Grooms, commodore, Submarine Squadron 6. “Her 139 safe and accident free drydockings are the direct result of hard working, dedicated crews.”
“I salute you and your superb efforts,” he continued, “to make Resolute one of the finest drydocks the Navy has ever known.”
Resolute was built by Chicago Bridge and Iron Works in Newburg, N.Y., in 1944, and entered active service designated YFD-67 in 1945. Designed to deploy near enemy lines and keep ships battle ready, Resolute was an invaluable asset to the war effort.
“Resolute, born of the fighting spirit that made and keeps our nation strong, has had a varied and at times indeterminate history,” according to Cmdr. Douglas J. Holderman, Resolute's commanding officer.
“Yet it is not the steel or her skin alone that gives her spirit, it is her crew,” Holderman added. “The devotion to duty and loyalty to country that goes into keeping this rather large chunk of steel serving for 58 years, ready to serve.”
Following World War II and subsequent service in the Mediterranean, the dock was placed in the Reserve Fleet. In 1958, the dock was leased to Jacksonville Shipyard, Jacksonville, Fla. In 1982, the lease expired and YFD-67 returned to naval service, redesignated Resolute (AFDM-10), the fifth auxiliary vessel to bear the name.
After overhaul and modernization at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Resolute was attached to Submarine Squadrons 8 and 6, respectively, in Norfolk, Va., to drydock fast-attack nuclear submarines.
“It’s a combination of the surface Navy and submariners coming together,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st class (SW) Gerald L. Jacoway, Cranes and Docking Division work center supervisor. “Different goals, different orientation, but coming together on one platform for one purpose,” the Cleveland native said.
“I’ve learned so much here,” said Seaman Esiquia Fierro, a native of Big Spring, Texas. Fierro is striking for Corpsman, working in the Resolute Medical Department. “It’s one of the best units for an undesignated seaman to see all the rates at work and then pick the one you want to work in,” she continued. “I am going to miss it here.”
Since arriving in Norfolk, Resolute has safely docked 139 submarines and completed 55 Selected Restricted Availabilities (SRA) without incident. Resolute has been awarded seven Battle “E” Efficiency ribbons, two Meritorious Unit Commendations, two National Defense Service medals and was awarded the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award in 2001 for outstanding contributions to fleet readiness.
“We pause to celebrate Resolute’s years of service,” said Holderman. “For the Sailors who served, for the families who let them and for the nation we call home.
“By those you have trained, guided and led,” he concluded. “By those who will carry on the proud traditions you have instilled… Resolute, you stand relieved. We have the watch.”