Norfolk, VA —
As the oldest rating in the U.S. Navy, Boatswain’s Mate (BM) carries a long and storied tradition. This tradition, steeped in a legacy of often overlooked yet critically vital taskings, often carries the weight of the U.S. Navy. For the Boatswain’s Mates at Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC), the arts of rigging and weight testing are two of the unsung taskings that continue to ensure ships are mission-ready. For BM1 (SW) Drew Miller, accomplishing MARMC’s mission of preparing vessels for the fleet goes hand-in-hand with qualifying Sailors in the NAMTS Rigging/Weight Testing Job Qualification Requirement (JQR) while keeping the traditions of the BM rating alive.
Coordinating the large number of jobs Codes 911A and 912 have to complete requires an astute level of planning on the parts of BMC (SW/EXW) Lawrence Mimbs and Miller. As the senior military NAMTS qualifiers in Codes 911A and 912, they pay close attention to which Sailors need opportunities to complete specific line items in the Rigging/Weight Testing JQR and make sure they get the opportunity to do so. According to Miller, “The NAMTS program has assisted in the increased level of knowledge and fluidity of the MARMC Weight Test Shop. Sailors use their knowledge gained from acquiring the Rigger/Weight test Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) to ensure the full capabilities of the Truman Strike Group and countless other ships deployed independently and within amphibious strike groups.”
Over the past quarter, Codes 911A and 912 have completed more than 45 jobs across five ship classes. With jobs ranging from accommodation ladder and boat davit slewing arm davit repair certifications, to MK 105 pendant and sling repairs, Codes 911A and 912 have managed to meld mission readiness with qualifying Sailors via the NAMTS program. For seasoned qualifiers like
Miller, it comes down to knowledge and opportunity, “The weight test shop has a wide variety of jobs that fall under our work list from ordnance handling equipment, 60-ton cranes, boat handling equipment, Replenishment at Sea (RAS) stations to a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) recovery winch.”
As Codes 911A and 912 accomplish more jobs throughout the fleet, BMC (SW/EXW) Mimbs believes that eventually many of the Sailors who have earned the NAMTS Rigging/Weight Testing NEC will have the opportunity to transition to ships and pass this knowledge on to other Sailors. For NMTS qualifiers and candidates, the importance of this continuity is not lost. BMC Mimbs encapsulates this belief. As BMC so eloquently stated, “to meld production and training, well, there is nothing more ready and relevant than that.”