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Surface Navy 2022: US Navy focuses on executing ship maintenance work to improve readiness

The US Navy is taking measures to better execute the way it performs waterfront maintenance and related work on its surface fleet ships to improve its readiness, according to Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener, commander of both the Naval Surface Forces and the Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet.

In seeking ways to improve its readiness numbers, the navy started to look at how it handled the maintenance work from contracting through execution, Vice Adm Kitchener said on 7 January during a media roundtable in advance of the Surface Navy Association National Symposium, which starts on 11 January in Arlington, Virginia.

โ€œOur primary effort, when we started out, was identifying what things we should measure,โ€ he added. โ€œWe wanted to make sure we were asking industry to do something within their capability [like] getting the material there on time. We looked at making sure we were getting the right work packages together.โ€

The problems seem to arise later, he pointed out. โ€œWhen we went into the execution mode, we found we seemed to be hitting a wall.โ€

So, navy officials started to investigate that phase, he said. โ€œWe looked at the integrated production schedule.โ€

There, they saw room for improvement. โ€œWe focused on that,โ€ he said. โ€œAnd as you go through an availability, you run into problem. The schedule is essentially fluid.โ€

The schedule, then, needs to be reviewed and updated, he noted. โ€œIt's really important the teams do that every day.โ€

The teams have focused on identifying any possible growth work, especially by the halfway mark, he said. According to him, it is important to get a handle on all that as early as possible โ€“ making sure, for example, that initial inspections identify the work needed.

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