Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced, July 1, efforts to ensure surface ships are properly maintained are continuing through a pilot initiative onboard two Norfolk-based ships. The NAVSEA-led initiative reassigns ships' force maintenance actions to shore-based technical teams. The review of open maintenance actions aboard USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) is designed to identify which of these repairs can be completed at the depot level. "The demands placed on our ships and Sailors are increasing each year," said Rear Adm. James P. McManamon, NAVSEA deputy commander for surface warfare. "It's incumbent upon the ship repair and maintenance community to figure out how best to support them. In this case, we determined that moving some of the repair work to shore commands would both benefit the Sailors and improve ship readiness."
The NAVSEA team, in coordination with the type commander, will review all open maintenance items on these ships, officially called Type Availability 4 (TA4) items, to determine which will be handled by shore teams. Once the review is complete, NAVSEA will begin assigning the maintenance to the regional maintenance centers, naval shipyards or private shipyards.
As part of this process, U.S. Fleet Forces Command identified more than $18 million in funding to allow NAVSEA to complete the work, as well as review other ships' maintenance workloads during future availabilities.
"This is a question of capacity, not capability," continued McManamon. "This is a good preventative measure to ensure these ships are meeting requirements throughout their service lives."
The TA4 reassignment is part of a series of coordinated fleet and NAVSEA initiatives focused on surface ship readiness. These efforts are designed to increase support to our sailors and improve maintenance practices across ship classes, while also modernizing them to keep pace with mission requirements. (Source: NAVSEA)