As part of a Naval Sea Systems Command effort to improve surface ship maintenance and modernization, NAVSEA fully analyzed surface ship maintenance and modernization needs to better plan the scope and duration of all 44 shipyard availabilities planned for fiscal year 2015.
This marks the first time the U.S. Navy has collectively assessed and integrated all advance planning efforts for a full year of surface ship availabilities, the result of which will be a reduction in lost operational days. This is achieved by the “right-sizing” of availability durations early in the process to accommodate all planned maintenance and modernization.
This planning effort has the added benefit of giving fleet commanders the option to defer planned work if operational schedules require shorter availabilities.
“This effort was an incredibly rigorous planning initiative,” said Capt. Michael Malone, commanding officer of SEA 21’s Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP) located in Norfolk, Virginia. “By understanding specific planned maintenance and modernization work required for each ship in advance, we can give fleet commanders a realistic analysis of how long availabilities will last. Doing so really limits the potential for surface Navy schedule shifts and lost operational days.”
Prior to this year, the command did not have a formal process to treat surface maintenance and modernization as an integrated, lifecycle business, which meant schedules were, at best, notional. Over the last few years, NAVSEA has completed detailed analyses of each surface ship’s maintenance and modernization requirements, as well as the type of modernization improvements required at each phase in a ship’s lifecycle. Through these efforts, NAVSEA will be able to plan ship availabilities much more efficiently and accurately.
“We want to give fleet commanders more stability,” continued Malone. “Moving forward, our goal is to start availability planning 720 days in advance.”
This initiative is one of several NAVSEA efforts to improve how the Navy plans and manages surface ship maintenance and modernization. NAVSEA will continue to review how ship maintenance and modernization is scheduled, budgeted and executed, and will continue to make recommendations to fleet commanders on how to improve this process and reduce costs.
Press Release, June 10, 2014; Image: US Navy