NORFOLK — The amphibious assault ship Bataan headed out to sea on Tuesday, following a brief return to port to fix some minor mechanical glitches after an extensive overhaul, officials said.
“The ship is pulling into port for maintenance,” Capt. Greg Leland, Bataan’s commanding officer posted Sunday on the warship’s official Facebook page.
“We still have evolutions that need to be completed underway in order to prepare for our upcoming deployment. Flexibility is key to our success and I am confident that the team will remain focused on the tasks ahead to stay mission ready.”
Naval Surface Forces Atlantic spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson told Navy Times that Bataan returned to port for “routine maintenance” that involved “minor repairs to various systems.”
She said Bataan didn’t suffer a mechanical casualty or system breakdown but just needed “routine adjustments to equipment and systems” that had been modernized over a long maintenance session that began in late 2017.
On Nov. 6, 2017, shortly after returning to Norfolk from a seven-month deployment, tugboats hauled the warship to BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair yard so workers could begin a yearlong $45.8 million overhaul of the vessel.
After the modernization work, Bataan left for sea on Feb. 20 for sea trials and to get the crew started on the basic phase of training to prep for an upcoming deployment, Hillson said.
During the recent underway period, the vessel’s flight and well decks were certified again and the crew has been conducting offshore operations with Marines, Hillson said.
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1 of 9The amphibious assault ship Bataan gets underway from Naval Station Norfolk for sea trials and basic unit training for the first time in over a year. (Hendrick L. Dickson/Navy)
2 of 9Sailors on the flight deck enjoy sunset aboard the amphibious assault ship Bataan while underway for sea trials. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lenny Weston/Navy)
3 of 9Flight deck personnel on the amphib Bataan plan the takeoff of an AV-8B Harrier assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 542 (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lenny Weston/Navy)
4 of 9An aviation boatswain't mate signals to the pilot of an AV-8B Harrier assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 542 before take off from the amphibious assault ship Bataan. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lenny Weston/Navy)
5 of 9A rigid hull inflatable boat passes in front of the amphibious assault ship Bataan while the amphib completed sea trials following a long overhaul session. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary A. Anderson/Navy)
6 of 9Amphibious assault vehicles assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion make their way to the warship Bataan. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary A. Anderson/Navy)
7 of 9Amphibious assault vehicles line the upper-vehicle stowage on board the amphibious assault ship Bataan. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lenny Weston/Navy)
8 of 9An MV-22B Osprey, assigned to the Blue Knights of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365, flies over the amphibious assault ship Bataan during the amphib's sea trials. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lenny Weston/Navy).
9 of 9A landing craft utility assigned to Assault Craft Unit 2 approaches the amphibious assault ship Bataan as part of well deck operations during sea trials. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Levi Decker/Navy)
Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.