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By Team Ships Public Affairs
Aug. 11, 2021, NORFOLK, Va. – For years, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) Diesel Shop had been interested in implementing the Navy Afloat Maintenance Training Strategy (NAMTS) Diesel Engine, Governor and Injector Repair Technician Job Qualification Requirement (JQR). While hands-on work accomplishment is the driving force behind NAMTS JQR completion, it is beneficial to have mockup or simulation opportunities available for the Sailor’s initial observation of the equipment on which they will be working.
MARMC Diesel Shop felt that the procurement of a diesel engine mockup would be a force multiplier and greatly enhance the NAMTS Diesel Engine repair learning experience for their Sailors. MARMC is one of three Regional Maintenance Centers at which Sailors can enroll in NAMTS; the command currently offers 16 of 21 available skill areas in which to train. Courses are rigorous and Sailors are able to complete JQRs at their own pace, however, Regional NAMTS Coordinators help ensure Sailors are continuously making progress. Despite challenges presented by COVID-19, NAMTS graduated a record of 1,135 Sailors in 2020; the program continues to strive and is currently on pace to match last year’s success.
MARMC’s Diesel Shop reached out through several avenues to acquire a suitable diesel engine to use as a mockup and identified the Detroit 671 as an ideal engine to be used as a static display trainer, as the engine was known for its compact size, maintainability, and most importantly, its simple design. Although these attributes made the Detroit 671 diesel engine a perfect base level platform to teach Sailors the basics of diesel maintenance fundamentals, the engine is considered obsolete compared to modern engines, making it difficult to come by.
Luckily for MARMC, Andrew Porter, MARMC’s regional NAMTS coordinator, received a lead from ENC (SW/EXW) James Elgin, Diesel Shop Leading Chief Petty Officer at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, which led to the discovery of an engine being housed a few miles away at Assault Craft Unit Two, on Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story.
Assault Craft Unit Two had a Detroit 12V71 diesel engine that was originally utilized by the Army’s Diesel Training Program at Fort Eustis. The command was no longer in need of the engine and offered to transfer it to MARMC.
Porter and EN1(SW) Dallon Horman with Assault Craft Unit Two ensured that the 3,400-pound engine was safely delivered to MARMC in late July. MARMC now has the capability to train Sailors on diesel engines through the NAMTS Diesel Engine Governor & Injector Repair Technician JQR, which the command expects to implement within the next few months. With a training engine in place, the shop will be capable of training Sailors in a safe, closed environment before being tasked with real-world maintenance and production on the waterfront.
“Many of the NAMTS training shops at MARMC use training aides to help build confidence in how certain pieces of equipment work and develop greater competency for real-world maintenance applications. The use of training aides gets our Sailors more sets and reps to develop skills,” said Mr. Daniel Spagone, Director of Intermediate-Level Maintenance, Code 900 at Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center.
“Working on an engine is complex and requires in-depth knowledge of its parts and components,” said MARMC Regional NAMTS Coordinator, Andrew Porter. “Being able to physically show a Sailor how to remove a cam shaft and demonstrate how it functions with the cylinder valves is a much better way of teaching diesel engine fundamentals, as opposed to reading about it or watching it on a computer screen. Sailors who roll up their sleeves and dive into maintenance exemplify what it means to be NAMTS qualified.”
Navy Afloat Maintenance Training Strategy was established in 1998 by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) to improve battlegroup organic maintenance capability and material self-sufficiency. Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center trains Sailors through the NAMTS program by utilizing Intermediate Level, hands-on maintenance production to “forge maintenance warriors,” who are competent and confident in their ability to own, maintain and operate their shipboard equipment.
While assigned to a Regional Maintenance Center, Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Naval shipyard, or Trident Refit Facility, NAMTS trains Sailors in 25 different Journeymen Level Repair and Maintenance Technician training programs through hands-on shop production work accomplishment. Upon NAMTS JQR completion and the passing of a written test and oral board, Sailors are awarded NAMTS Navy Enlisted Classifications codes.
In addition to NAMTS training available at the Regional Maintenance Centers, Intermediate Maintenance Facilities, and Naval Shipyards, many afloat NAMTS programs have been established aboard ships across several different platforms. Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center is making NAMTS training a priority for our Sailors to help improve self-sufficiency in the fleet.