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A Pocket-sized High-Velocity Learning Tool Improves Readiness

By SURFMEPP Strategic Communications | Oct. 19, 2017

NORFOLK - The Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP) recently completed publication of their sixth ship class-specific inspection handbook. An old-school method, the handbooks show that high-velocity learning isn’t always high-tech.

The latest, an LPD 17 Class Bilge Inspection Handbook will start shipping out to SURFMEPP Detachments within a month and the LSD 41/49 Class Bilge Inspection will follow later this fall. 

The ship class-specific handbooks are designed as reference guides or roadmaps for the efficient inspection of the critical corrosion areas.  The handbooks place tangible best-practices and ships’ historical data trends into the hands of the Sailor and waterfront subject matter experts (SME).  

"Marrying the deck plate experience of the ship class platform engineer with corrosion historical survey data held in the Corrosion Control Information Management System into an easy-to-use handbook, affords our Sailors and waterfront SMEs a means to identify and document coatings and structural degradations effectively for repair planning" said Mark Darwin, SURFMEPP’s Corrosion Division Head.

He explained how a team of corrosion experts from his shop collaborated with a Platform Engineering Team to create the handbooks.  The team used two and three-dimensional diagrams and inserted descriptors in the handbooks to better identify compartment numbers and space access locations.

“The more detailed the roadmap, the better the support to the Sailors and SME to efficiently identify the required repairs.” said Chris Ledlow, who heads SURFMEPP’s Platform Engineering Division. “We have the expertise to offer a tool that aids in PMS accomplishment, more thorough inspections, and reduction in growth and new work. The handbook is yet another way that we help the maintenance community align programming, planning, budgeting, and execution strategies in support of on-time delivery of operationally ready ships.”

SURFMEPP Deputy Tom Gallagher understands how corrosion erodes the structural integrity of the ship, and at some point repairing corrosion becomes unaffordable.  

As a former waterfront guy, Gallagher knows that maintenance challenges on ships never go away. “These inspection handbooks are my cheat sheet to get me pointed to those nasty corrosion issues that put the ship at both operational risk, and risk to not being able to meet its expected service life,” he said. 

Gallagher pointed out that corrosion doesn't get better with time. “Rust never sleeps,” he said. Identify it early, fix it on time, don't allow structural degradation, and we save dollars later. The handbooks give us a tool to maneuver quickly and identify significant issues so we can build solid work packages to fix it in depot availabilities when needed.”  

Other Inspection handbooks include:

DDG 51 Class Gas Turbine Intake & Uptake Inspection Handbook - 2012
DDG 51 Class Bilge Inspection Handbook - 2015
CG 47 Class Bilge Inspection Handbook - 2015
CG 47 Class Superstructure Structural Inspection Guide - 2015 
LHD 1 Class Bilge Inspection Handbook - 2015 
LPD 17 Class Bilge Inspection Handbook - 2017
LSD 41/49 Class Bilge Inspection Handbook – coming late fall 2017

To request a copy of a SURFMEPP Handbook email SURFMEPP_Handbooks@navy.mil