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USS Vella Gulf Back in Norfolk for More Repairs After Brief Underway

USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) sails alongside the supply ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE-8) during a replenishment-at-sea on April 28, 2020. US Navy Photo

A guided-missile cruiser that underwent repairs for a fuel leak is back in port again for more work following a brief weekend underway, the service told USNI News.

A U.S. 2nd Fleet spokesperson said in a statement that USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) came back to Norfolk, Va., on Sunday for another “technical assessment” after leaving the day before.

“After getting underway, USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) returned to Naval Station Norfolk this afternoon for technical assessment of the repairs made to the ship’s fuel oil tank. More information will be provided once it becomes available,” the spokesperson said.

Lt. Marycate Walsh told USNI News that the same oil tank is the problem, but personnel still need to evaluate the leak to know where it’s coming from, whether there is a new leak or if the ship’s recent repairs did not remain intact.

On Saturday, the cruiser went out to sea after spending two weeks in port to have the fuel leak fixed.

“USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) is underway today and will continue on its mission upon completion of repairs to the fuel oil tank,” Walsh said in a March 13 statement. “We are grateful for the technical experts and Vella Gulf sailors for their efforts to repair the ship in a timely manner.”

Vella Gulf began a deployment in mid-February as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, but had to break off from the CSG and head back to Norfolk, Va., after the cruiser’s crew found the leak while the ship sailed through high seas.

The ship arrived back into the port at Norfolk on Feb. 26 for a “technical assessment” of the leak, which the service later attributed to “single tank corrosion.”

The Eisenhower CSG is currently operating in U.S. 6th Fleet, according to the most recent USNI News Fleet Tracker. Several destroyers – USS Mahan (DDG-72), USS Mitscher (DDG-57), USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) and USS Laboon (DDG-58) – are operating with Eisenhower. Guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) is also with the CSG.