NEWS | Dec. 16, 2018

Teamwork, Leadership Key Monterey Impressive 20% O&I

By Hendrick Dickson, Public Affairs Specialist

The USS Monterey (CG 61) project team accomplished the first major milestone of a six-month selected restricted availability (SRA), Oct. 19, when they completed the 20% Open and Inspect (O&I).

Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) is managing the Monterey SRA at Marine Hydraulics International (MHI) in Norfolk, Va., which began in September. The 20% O&I is an assessment of ships tanks and voids mandated by Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP).

“There were nine tanks and voids that had to be assessed – three voids, two potable water tanks and the remainder were JP5, storage and service tanks,” said Project Support Engineer (PSE) Tony Fontana.

“It’s a pretty good package and it fell at the right time of the year,” added Project Manager Sam Moore. “We had previously worked in some of the tanks, so we were expecting a certain outcome and it just so happened we were able to get what we were expecting.”

It was a complete team effort between MARMC Tanks and Voids Branch, who conducted the inspections, MHI and Ship’s Force, who prepared the very last tank to be accessed safely the day before the deadline. One SURFMEPP representative praised the team for their efforts, saying it was the first time he had seen a ship complete an O&I that quickly during his nine years at SURFMEPP.

“Everyone really  did a great job,” said Shipbuilding Specialist (SBS) Joe Caragiulo. “We had one tank that was missing a ladder. Ship’s Force went down there, certified the tank, got the ladder installed so the inspectors could get in there and complete their job. It really was a team effort between the ship, the maintenance team, the contractor and the sub-contractors who were involved. There was never talk about ‘that’s not my job’ or ‘hey, that falls on you.’ When someone saw something needed to get done, they jumped right in and did it.”

The team credited open communication between everyone as key to completing the inspections efficiently.

“The biggest thing was the communication among the maintenance teams,” said SBS Vera Davis. “I’m fairly new at this, so I rely heavily on lead SBS, PSE, and the PM to keep that line of communication flowing, so if something did come up, we could jump right on it.”

“Communication is important when dealing with a work package of this size,” said Moore. “There was a push from our SBSs to keep up with the timeline and stay focused on where all their items had to be. It’s important to communicate with each other to stay organized, especially when you have to go into tanks throughout the whole ship.”

There is a clear mandate from leadership about the goals for this SRA – finish on time. That mandate drove the entire team toward their first milestone and it will remain in their minds throughout the SRA.

“There wasn’t a morning that went by where the ship’s captain did not let us know the priority was getting out of here on time, and to that end, the focus was on this first milestone and getting all the tanks done,” said Fontana. “I’m not surprised that we made it happen, because leadership made it a priority.”

As they continue focusing on the end of avail, the team is very much aware of the challenge they face over the next few months, but they are committed to returning Monterey to the fleet in March.

“There’s going to be growth work and at times things just won’t go right because there is never a perfect avail,” said Moore. “It’s going to take good communication, learning to be able to see ahead and being able to plan for our risks to minimize them before they become too overwhelming for the whole team. If we can stay focused on that, I think we could overcome any issues and be successful.”