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NEWS | May 16, 2019

Shipyard rolls out first of four mobile cranes

By Michele Fletcher, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

For a command such as Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, which maintains, modernizes and retires the Navy’s fleet—many resources are needed to keep forward progress on countless projects. Replacing cranes when they are nearing the end of their 20-year service is critical to the continued success of day-to-day operations at the command, as well as timely completion of maintenance. 

Approximately 25 teammates from PSNS & IMF’s Code 700, Lifting and Handling Department, were on hand at the mobile crane test site on Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, along with Capt. Howard Markle, PSNS & IMF commander, to cut the ribbon celebrating the first of four newly purchased mobile crane’s entry into service May 2.

Navy policy requires that Naval Facilities Engineering Command purchase and own all civil engineering support equipment, including mobile cranes. Unfortunately, funding challenges within NAVFAC prevented the purchase of replacement cranes for PSNS & IMF. A cooperative effort between the shipyard, Naval Sea Systems Command and NAVFAC enabled the command to purchase four 55-ton mobile cranes through NAVSEA’s Capital Investment Program. The first crane was delivered in March; three more are slated to arrive soon.

During planning, personnel from Code 700 evaluated the multi-functionality needed in order to acquire the most versatile crane for the command’s needs. Some of the features of the mobile cranes chosen are over-the-road transportation, allowing ease in regional support to PSNS & IMF Detachment Everett and other installations.

The versatility also allows for work in confined areas, such as aircraft carrier hangar bays and inside shops.

“Equipment like this is so important to the work we do,” said Markle. “All the planning, ‘not-compromising’ to get exactly what our folks need to do their job, every single step along the way to drive this to delivery and certification was absolutely fantastic. These cranes will serve us well into the future and allow our workforce to continue to accomplish great work.

“I appreciate all your efforts in the continuing legacy of outstanding support of our mission.”

Code 700 personnel gave attendees a tour of the crane after the ceremony, highlighting its unique functions. They then demonstrated a few of the new crane’s features.

“Our new cranes arriving have really given us a chance to get up to speed with the current crane industry and latest technologies,” said David Camus, Code 740 mobile crane supervisor. “It will alleviate the workload on our current fleet of aging mobile cranes.”

 “These new cranes will allow us to setup practically anywhere needed around the dry docks and within the Controlled Industrial Area with virtually no ground loading issues. The crane comes equipped with many safeguards to help assist the operator to successfully accomplish the work at hand. These will be the new go-to cranes of the future in the shipyard.”

“These are high-quality designed cranes,” said Joshua Bierman, Code 710 electrical engineering technician. “The excellent technical documentation should make this a safe, reliable and productive crane for years to come.”

Along with the acquisition of the mobile cranes, PSNS & IMF also received funding for a bridge crane that replaces one in Building 107; and a multi-year contract was awarded for four 25-ton portal cranes for use at Bremerton and Trident Refit Facility, Bangor. Delivery is slated for later this year and fiscal
year 2020.