2301. Docking Support for Lift Transfer of USS Osprey (MHC-51)


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A Lester: 2301. Docking Support for Lift Transfer of USS Osprey (MHC-51). 1996.



History was made during the summer of 1995. For the first time, a commissioned Naval Ship was moved on a barge and across land into an inland body of water. Several military activities worked together to accomplish this feat. Factors for selecting Norfolk Naval Shipyard as the docking facility included dry dock depth and availability of a dry dock in relation to the Lift Transfer time table. This paper discusses the role that Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) performed in this evolution. NNSY dry-docked the USS OSPREY (MHC-51) on a barge in preparation for towing to Maryland. The ship was then transported using a rail system to its fresh water destination for testing. Upon completion of testing, the USS OSPREY returned to the barge for its journey back to NNSY. After undocking from the barge, the USS OSPREY left the Chesapeake Bay and returned to the Atlantic Ocean. Completion of the lift transfer required ten (10) docking/undocking evolutions; Six (6) of these evolutions took place at NNSY. At NNSY the barge was dry-docked and flooded to sit on the bottom of the dry dock. The ship floated in over the barge and landed in a cradle on the barge. The docking crew utilized extreme precision and patience to accurately place the USS OSPREY (MHC-51) on the cradle. The process was reversed when the ship was returned to the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to standard docking/undocking calculations, constant pumping calculations and monitoring of the tank levels was required to support flooding/dewatering of the dry dock and barge. The entire Lift-Transfer Evolution was completed on time and under budget. The success of the lift transfer was possible due to the cooperative work of several government facilities along with the support of private corporations.


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