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USS Vella Gulf conducting sea trials after repairs

The USS Vella Gulf, a five-inch cannon fires aboard the guided-missile cruiser is pictured in 2018, has left port for sea trials after being docked for repairs. Photo by James Norket/U.S. Navy
The USS Vella Gulf, a five-inch cannon fires aboard the guided-missile cruiser is pictured in 2018, has left port for sea trials after being docked for repairs. Photo by James Norket/U.S. Navy

April 22 (UPI) -- The USS Vella Gulf returned to sea this week after being docked for repairs, the Navy said.

The guided-missile cruiser is undergoing sea trials to "test the ship's system efficiency and ensure proficiency at sea," 2nd Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Marycate Walsh said in a statement obtained by Navy Times and USNI News.

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The Vella Gulf is part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and deployed to the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 19, but left the convoy near the Canary Islands on Feb. 26 due to a fuel oil leak later blamed on corrosion.

Last week, the crew found significant debris in the cruiser's main reduction gear, extending its repair period and keeping the ship docked at Naval Station Norfolk.

At the time the Navy did not say how long repairs would take, and the crew was kept onboard the vessel to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In February, the Navy said fully vaccinated crews would not have to follow restriction of movement and sequestering guidelines, but the Vella Gulf's crew is not fully vaccinated and therefore could not leave the ship, Navy Times reported.

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