SAN DIEGO (NNS) - The amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) is receiving regularly scheduled maintenance and upkeep during the vessel's current continuous maintenance availability (CMAV), scheduled to continue through early December 2010.

Cleveland's maintenance period follows a seven-month deployment and more than two months underway supporting the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010, a biennial multinational exercise off the coast of the Hawaiian Isles designed to strengthen regional partnerships and improve multinational interoperability.

After a successful ammunition offload in August at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Cleveland returned to homeport in Naval Base San Diego to begin its scheduled two and a half month CMAV period.

The ship is receiving a host of critical upgrades, including refurbishing the entire flight deck with fresh non-skid and replacing vital equipment within the engineering spaces. The crew carefully conducted detailed planning to prepare for Cleveland's CMAV.

A number of important jobs have already been completed or are nearing completion, including: interior and exterior painting; tank welding; lagging and non-skid replacement; berthing rehabilitation; and boiler inspections.

In addition, the crew is starting to conduct preventive maintenance on equipment being returned to service.

With Cleveland Sailors actively engaged in the vessel's CMAV, the risk for potential injuries exists, which is why the crew fastidiously plans each evolution, thinking safety at every step of the way.

"Safety is and has always been my primary concern during this CMAV," said Capt. S. Robert Roth, Cleveland's commanding officer. "Strict adherence to Operational Risk Management (ORM) principles is stressed to make sure that everyone is doing things by the book. We've worked very hard to prevent all major injuries during this CMAV. My goal is to continue this trend throughout the rest of the up-keep period."