US Navy hosts industry day as $21B public shipyards upgrade project gets underway

USS San Juan (SSN 751) at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in August 2011. Photo: US Navy

The US Naval Sea Systems Command is kick-starting the $21 billion plan to upgrade the four public shipyards to improve their productivity and increase their maintenance throughput in order to support the combat readiness of the navy the nation needs.

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) Program Office, PMS-555, established in June 2018, is working in concert with Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) to recapitalize and modernize the infrastructure at the four public nuclear shipyards to include critical dry dock repairs.

Without major upgrades and reconfigurations, the shipyards would not be able to meet the fleet’s future aircraft carrier and submarine depot maintenance and inactivation requirements looking out through 2040.

“The Navy relies on NAVSEA to deliver combat-ready ships and submarines out of planned maintenance availabilities on time,” said NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Tom Moore. “Modernizing our four naval shipyards — a massive task under any circumstance — is critical because it’s the only way we will be able to meet our future mission requirements.”

The Navy’s four public shipyards — Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bremerton, Washington; and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii — were originally designed and built in the 19th and 20th centuries to support construction of sail- and conventionally-powered ships using industrial models of the time. As a result, they are not configured to maintain and modernize the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines of today or tomorrow.

Developing, programming and executing the plan falls to PMS-555 program office comprised of industrial engineers, process improvement specialists, facilities engineers, regulatory compliance specialists, strategic and financial analysts, Civil Engineer Corps officers, construction managers and construction schedulers from NAVSEA, CNIC and NAVFAC.

The first milestone PMS-555 is scheduled to achieve is the development of a “digital twin” of the naval shipyards. This will be a virtual representation of the shipyards that will be used to conduct modeling and simulations of the shipyard environment to aid in evaluations and decisions for the future shipyard infrastructure. The program office is also developing strategies to address historic preservation and environmental compliance during this recapitalization effort.

The program office is hosting its first industry day April 8 at the Washington Navy Yard.

“We’re sold out,” said Lagana. “We have more than 100 companies from 19 states and the District of Columbia who are coming to hear about the program and see how they can be part of this once-in-a-century team that will deliver the shipyards the Navy needs.”

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