By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Jeremy L. Grisham, USS Bataan Public
The Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) aboard the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship
USS Bataan (LHD 5), gave a unique award to the Non-Destructive Inspection Work Center on May 20.
The AIMD award program was incorporated to help relieve monotony at the work bench and build camaraderie between the Navy and Marine Corps personnel working in AIMD.
Master Chief Avionics Technician (AW/SW) David Clark, AIMD leading chief petty officer (LCPO), incorporated the “Shop of the Week” program aboard Bataan after initiating the concept with Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman (AW/SW) Michael G. McGary in 2004 while stationed aboard USS Harry
S. Truman (CVN 75).
The program is designed to award one of AIMD’s 47 work centers which sets itself apart during the week, by production, Personnel Qualification Standards or by going above and beyond what is required of each shop.
“I’ve found that the program keeps people focused, on task, and it keeps complacency from kicking in,” said Clark.
Each week, AIMD’s 10 chief petty officers vote for the shop that they think deserves the award. Every Sunday during the weekly production control meeting, the entire department gathers to go over upcoming events, incoming work and, of course, to find out which work center won the award.
The perks of winning the award include a few dozen cookies provided from Bataan’s bake shop, a certificate of congratulations, bragging rights, an hour of liberty aboard the ship, and a very unique trophy.
The trophy started out as a wrench and a screw driver welded onto a steel plate with a small placard stating that they were the winners of the “Shop of the Week.”
Since the beginning of cruise, however, a new rule has come into play. The work center that wins the trophy must personalize the trophy to fit their work center using old parts or something unique from around the shop.
After completing two-thirds of the ship’s deployment, the trophy has grown to a monstrous three and a half feet tall, complete with old, worn parts from ground support equipment, avionics, the calibration lab and the AIMD power plants.
“I think it is a great way to recognize an outstanding work center each week,” added Clark. “And it’s pretty fun!”
Bataan, commanded by Capt. Rick Snyder, left her homeport of Norfolk Jan. 4 on a regularly-scheduled deployment as the flagship of the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group, which is comprised of the Bataan Strike Group, commanded by Capt. Peter Fanta, Commander, Bataan Strike Group/Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 2, and the 26th MEU, based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., commanded by Col. Gregg Sturdevant.
Bataan Strike Group includes PHIBRON 2, Bataan, USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Underwood (FFG 36) and USS Scranton (SSN 756).