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Submarine Maintenance Engineering Planning and Procurement (SUBMEPP) Activity is an Echelon III command operating as an extension of and reporting to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Program Executive Office Attack Submarines (PEO SSN). The command, led by a Commanding Officer, is comprised of approximately 225 civil service engineers and technical personnel with additional contractor support. SUBMEPP is located, as a tenant command, on Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME with approximately 19 on-site representatives located in Groton, CT; Washington, DC; Norfolk, VA; King’s Bay, GA; Bangor, WA; San Diego, CA; Pearl Harbor, HI and Guam.
The Department of the Navy established SUBMEPP at a time when the cost and length of submarine overhauls were spiraling out of control. At that time, SUBMEPP was named PERA (SS), Planning and Engineering for Repairs and Alterations of Submarines. Through the 1970s, the business grew to a pivotal position in submarine maintenance and modernization planning. The organization matured from a shipyard business unit to a NAVSEA Detachment by late 1983.
The organization’s responsibilities, competencies, and reputation continued to grow beyond those of other Planning and Engineering for Repairs and Alterations organizations. In 1986, the expanded role led the Chief of Naval Operations to change the name to one that accurately projected the unique value and business focus: SUBMEPP - Submarine Maintenance Engineering, Planning and Procurement.
SUBMEPP develops and refines engineered class maintenance plans for attack submarines, ballistic missile submarines and other unique platforms, based on reliability centered maintenance concepts. SUBMEPP’s reliability centered maintenance process is a technically rigorous evaluation by operators, maintainers and engineers to ensure that the right maintenance is performed at the right time and by the right level of maintenance activity.
To support budgeting for the maintenance plans, SUBMEPP provides notional man-day estimates for the maintenance requirements, by class, for the life of the ship. These are refined down to different availability types and ultimately down to specific availabilities on an individual submarine. SUBMEPP estimates provide a foundation in developing budgets and budget forecasts presented to Congress.
SUBMEPP maintains an application to track maintenance completions, due dates, configuration modifications and repairs. This information in conjunction with the maintenance plans allows SUBMEPP to develop ship specific work packages for a myriad of different types of availabilities in both public and private shipyards. The work packages are supported by SUBMEPP developed maintenance instructions, which define acceptance criteria for parts, components, and system operation. These maintenance instructions ensure safe operation of the submarines in the dangerous environment in which they operate. In order to ensure that critical components are on hand at the right time to support the availabilities, SUBMEPP orchestrates several material programs and provides material forecasting.
To ensure that maintenance plans are optimized, SUBMEPP analyzes data from past maintenance and repairs as input for their reliability centered maintenance process. Formal data analytics is becoming an increasing part of every aspect of SUBMEPP’s business. When a schedule changes, SUBMEPP evaluates the impact this has on maintenance and the ability of the submarine to safely continue operation.
SUBMEPP’s rigorous approach ensures that Submarines reach their maximum service life while maintaining reliability and safety in an efficient manner. By having availabilities accurately planned in advance, maintenance activities are assured of reduced new work and delays due to material availability. This results in the submarines being available to the fleet when and where they are needed to support the mission.
It’s all about the sailor.