NAVSEA Discusses Sustaining, Building the Fleet at SNA Symposium

By Edward Lundquist at January 16, 2011 20:08
Filed Under: Navy News

NAVSEA Discusses Sustaining, Building the Fleet at SNA Symposium

By NAVSEA Public Affairs


NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy moderated a Navy panel discussion entitled "Sustaining Today's Force Structure and Building the Future Force."  Panel members (in order of presentations) included Jim McCarthy, assistant deputy chief of naval operations; Rear Adm. Jim Murdoch, fleet maintenance officer; Rear Adm. Jim McManamon, NAVSEA deputy commander for surface warfare; Rear Adm. Dave Lewis, Program Executive Officer (PEO), Ships; and Chris Deegan, executive director, PEO Integrated Warfare Systems.


"Seventy percent of the 313-force out there in 2020, we own today.  Our challenge is, at the same time we're trying to build 50 to 55 ships over the [Future Years Defense Plan], we also have to carry along with us - well into the 2020 to 2030 timeframe - the ships we already have.  Therein lays the dual challenge. We cannot just build our way into 313 ships," said McCoy.

ARLINGTON, Va. - Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) leadership discussed the status of shipbuilding programs, as well as plans in progress to improve surface ship material conditions at the Surface Navy Association's (SNA) 23rd National Symposium Jan. 11-13.

McCoy referred to the readiness and material condition of two recently decommissioned submarines 33 years into their service life which was exactly the same, if not better than, when those ships entered the fleet.  USS Enterprise (CVN 65) deployed Thursday - 49 years and two months after commissioning.


"We simply said we're going to do for our surface ships exactly what we do for our aircraft carriers and submarines," said McCoy referring to a , "three-phased process that starts with a rigorous, engineered class-maintenance plan."


The second phase entailed closer monitoring of all surface ships.   "One part is a formal monitoring where we partnered with the American Bureau of Shipping to do five or six thousand ultrasonic tests on our ships," McCoy explained.  "In addition, we built a four-phased readiness program through the [Regional Maintenance Centers] where we're putting our ships into a monitoring program to feed the class-maintenance plans."


"Finally, we need a more robust waterfront organization to support our surface ships every day.  We've received funding to re-grow the RMCs, and do the right fundamental engineering, wrench-turning and needed structural repairs," McCoy concluded.  "We are advocates for shipbuilding and how to get ships to their full service life. The debate is over on how we are going to do surface maintenance.  Now we are going to carry out the plan with rigor."


In addition to panel participation, senior NAVSEA and affiliated PEO leadership addressed questions from attendees at the command's exhibit booth which highlighted how NAVSEA's Strategic Business Plan and key initiatives have helped the organization improve surface ship life cycle support and reduce acquisition and maintenance process costs.


Rear Adm. Jim McManamon discussed how a "ramping up" of maintenance and modernization process improvements are allowing NAVSEA to ensure surface ship material readiness and deliver capabilities in a cost-effective way.


"Readiness is about good life cycle support management.  That means we must have a consistent message, consistent resources, and a program that allows us to use those resources as needed," said McManamon.


According to the admiral, after assessing the gaps that had prevented effective surface ship life-cycle management, NAVSEA looked to the carrier and submarine communities to find ways to institutionalize and improve material readiness processes.


"SURFMEPP is about getting the maintenance requirements right," McManamon said.  "Technical foundations papers are being done for each ship class.  The model for these papers has been taken directly from the submarine community which looks at the entire life cycle, looks at engineering, and budgets appropriately for the class maintenance plan."


Recent improvements implemented or in progress include updates to preventative maintenance systems; development of paints requiring fewer applications; a water-tight door pilot study; delivery of anti-corrosion protective covers; and the establishment Corrosion Control Assist Teams establishment.

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