U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship LHD 2 USS Essex—the “Iron Gator”—left Naval Base San Diego April 28 for the first time in almost two years, to conduct sea trials after completion of a major 20-month Dry-Dock Planned Maintenance Availability (DPMA), which included a flight deck overhaul. The ship received more than $200 million worth of DPMA-related repairs and upgrades, including additional overhauls of boilers, communication systems and the ...

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