What’s 950 feet long, 205 feet wide, and can lift up to 55,000 long tons? It’s the Pride of California, a newly dedicated floating dry dock now operational at our shipyard in San Diego. With the Pride of California’s ribbon cut, it’s already begun its mission of hosting U.S. Navy ships returning from long deployments and in need of repairs and modernization.
The dry dock is part of our more than $100 million investment in the yard to expand capabilities in San Diego in support of the Navy’s ongoing strategy to increase Asia-Pacific operations, meaning more ships will be based on the West Coast. The Pride of California is now the biggest dry dock in the state and ranks third largest in the United States.
Getting it ready
Alongside representatives from across the ship repair industry, the Port of San Diego community, and members of Congress, we designated the new dry dock the Pride of California during a ceremony on February 11. Since the dry dock’s December arrival, our Ship Repair team worked around the clock to reassemble the Pride of California and get it ready to service its first customer, the USS New Orleans (LPD 18), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. The New Orleans entered the new dry dock February 23 for six months’ worth of work that includes repairs to its structure, tanks, ventilation, propulsion systems, and auxiliary systems. In addition, the company will perform repairs and improvements to the crew’s living quarters.
The Pride of California’s size and lifting capacity allows it to service large deck amphibious ships, surface combatants — just about every type of Navy ship — and some commercial vessels, including cruise ships.
Being environmentally friendly
A unique aspect of the Pride of California is its environmentally responsible design. It has two all-electric wing wall cranes; a 250,000 gallon storm water collection system; a non-hazardous underwater hull paint system; a closed loop salt water fire protection system; and an energy-efficient LED lighting system throughout.
Obtaining permits and clearance for a project this big was not easy. It required the support of the Port of San Diego and local, state, and federal agencies. Through this unique partnership, we are ensuring the dry dock’s surrounding environment will flourish. The dry dock’s build process allowed us to develop an environmental habitat that includes the planting of eel grass in San Diego’s south bay; hydro-acoustic monitoring of in-water noise during pier construction to protect marine life; establishment of a bird, marine mammal, and green sea turtle monitoring program; and a transportation management program which reduces the yard’s traffic impact on local neighborhoods.
Keeping sailors close to home
Prior to the Pride of California’s arrival, there were two dry docks in San Diego. Meanwhile, the San Diego region is projected to grow from 60 ships today to 70 or more by 2020, with the need of dry docking services growing proportionately. Without our investment in the new dry dock, ships would have to go to other ports for repair or have critical maintenance deferred. Keeping more ships in San Diego when they undergo maintenance allows our nation’s sailors to remain close to their families while continuing to man their ships after returning from deployments.
Welcome to your new home, Pride of California. We look forward to seeing you as a fixture in the Port of San Diego for many years to come!