For the first time in 10 years, USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) entered a dry dock for a Mayport maintenance period Aug. 20.
The depot modernization period (DMP), began Aug. 9 with the ship being dry-docked. This will allow for combat systems, lethality, and engineering enhancements to take place aboard.
The DMP comes after a busy few years for Winston S. Churchill crew. As a credit to this pace, it was recently bestowed the USS Arizona Memorial Trophy, awarded every two years to the best-performing, most combat-ready crew among ships of the surface force with primary missions in strike warfare, surface fire support, and anti-surface warfare.
Cmdr. Tim Shanley, Winston S. Churchill commanding officer, reflected on the crew’s accomplishments during this period, including deployments and inspections completed, and a recent homeport shift from Rota, Spain to Mayport.
"Over the past 15 months of my command tour alone, the ship has sailed close to a motivational 81,000 nautical miles, executed a deployment to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East all while in a 9-month COVID-19 bubble,” he explained. “We had an above average Board of Inspection and Survey performance right on the heels of that deployment, executed numerous Fleet-level taskings, and then, completed a homeport shift.”
Even with a pause in the ship’s operational schedule, Shanley is confident the crew will not lose its edge.
“The Sailors of Winston S. Churchill are the best of the best and will continue to get even better during this maintenance period," he assured.
A guided-missile destroyer, USS Winston S. Churchill was commissioned March 10, 2001, in Norfolk, Va. It is named for the British prime minister of the same name, the only modern U.S. warship ship whose namesake is a foreign national. Winston S. Churchill is also the only active U.S. Navy ship to regularly billet a British Royal Navy Officer, and the only one to fly a foreign flag as well as the American flag.