SUPSHIP Turns to Fusion for Facemasks

NNSY’s Sail Loft has begun making facemasks to further ensure the health and safety of workforce personnel, with a capacity to produce up to 900 daily. COVID-19-specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been distributed to the USS George H.W. Bush, USS Wyoming and USS San Francisco projects. NNSY/Danny De Angelis

WASHINGTON — When Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair Newport News’ supply of protective facemasks to combat COVID-19 dwindled to 30 by the morning of April 9, SUPSHIPNN’s commanding officer, Capt. Jason Lloyd, turned to his staff for a solution, according to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). 

An order for more masks had already been placed but they would not arrive until the following week. He needed a solution that would enable the command to continue its fleet support mission. 

His staff turned to Fusion, an internal Navy collaboration tool that is like Facebook and was developed by Naval Information Warfare Systems Command connecting NAVSEA employees virtually throughout the world. 

“As the SUPSHIPNN Command Process Improvement Champion, I have been a fan of the NAVSEA Fusion site since its inception,” said Greg Mitchell, SUPSHIP Newport News’ command process improvement champion. “I immediately posted a plea for help on Fusion early” on the morning of April 9. 

“Fusioneers” — as Mitchell termed his fellow collaborators — responded with numerous recommendations and offers to assist. One of those responses led to Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), co-located in Norfolk, a command already using its internal capability to sew cloth facemasks for its workforce. 

“I reached out to them,” Mitchell said. “By 1400 that same day, I had 100 brand-new masks made by Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s production resources group in their sail loft I could deliver to my command.” 

In an e-mail to the shipyard’s commanding Officer, Capt. Kai Torkelson, Lloyd thanked his NAVSEA colleague, calling the success of Fusion as a “perfect example of teamwork and knowledge sharing. … Fusion collaboration at its finest.” 

Mitchell said that in order to answer NAVSEA Commander, Vice Adm. [Thomas] Moore’s call to “Expand the Advantage” the command needs to become a High Velocity Learning (HVL) organization. “There is no better way to use HVL than Fusion,” he said. “Thanks to everyone involved who made this a complete Fusion success.  We are and will always be a “One Navy” Team!” 

Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Newport News, is the liaison between the Department of the Navy and Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, the company engaged in the design and construction of new nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers as well as the repair and modernization of active subs and carriers in the fleet.