NAVSEA Improves On-Time Return of Ready Naval Assets
WASHINGTON — In fiscal 2017, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has improved the Navy’s rate of returning ships and submarines back to the operational fleet on time following major maintenance availabilities, the command said in a Sept. 13 release.
The command, which operates the Navy’s four public shipyards, has addressed its No. 1 mission priority by better balancing workload and capacity, including growing its shipyard workforce.
“At the start of fiscal year 2017, the four naval shipyards had a capacity that was balanced with their planned workload, due in large part to the significant hiring that occurred in fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2016,” said Randy Sawyer, NAVSEA deputy director for Naval Shipyard Operations (SEA 04) in the command’s Industrial Operations Directorate.
From fiscal 2013 through 2017, the shipyards hired approximately 17,000 new workers, Sawyer said. As a direct result, the naval shipyards are now on track to complete seven of 10 fiscal 2017 maintenance availabilities, including all four nuclear carriers, on time or early to the Chief of Naval Operations schedule. This compares to one of nine on time completions in fiscal 2016, four of 12 in fiscal 2015 and two of nine in fiscal 2014.
The rapid growth in the workforce also has required adjustments and innovations in how the shipyards train its workers, including establishing comprehensive learning centers and increasing the use of realistic mockups, Sawyer said.
“Delivering ships and submarines from maintenance availabilities on time is hugely important in maintenance operational readiness for the fleets,” said Jim Wrzeski, acting director of SEA 04. “We are restoring material condition and systems readiness so that they can be operated reliably and with confidence by our Sailors in harm’s way.”
In fiscal 2017, naval shipyards have delivered the following ships and submarines on time or early:
■ USS Theodore Roosevelt
■ USS John C. Stennis
■ USS Harry S. Truman
■ USS Ronald Reagan
■ USS Providence
■ USS Oklahoma City
■ USS Greeneville
“With roughly one-third of our Navy ships and submarines undergoing maintenance at any given time, delivering them back to the fleet on time is NAVSEA’s No. 1 priority for a reason,” said NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Tom Moore, while addressing the USS Nimitz fiscal 2018 Docked Planned Incremental Availability project team earlier this year.
Moore stressed the importance of the team’s efforts, saying, “Delays can mean extended deployments and unnecessary hardship for our young Sailors and their families. I encourage you to keep them in mind as you work hard and solve problems for them.”