Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) Chief Engineer Scott Freedner and the Chief Engineer’s Office have been hosting virtual Lunch and Learn sessions to highlight important topics and connect with the workforce throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The most recent virtual session, hosted on Dec. 15, 2020, focused on Local Technical Authority (LTA) and how In-Service Engineering Agents and project managers can ensure all work completed onboard Navy ships is approved through proper channels. Due to the importance of the topic, the NSWCPD Chief Engineer’s Office hosts a session on technical authority at least once a year.
NSWCPD engineers are expected to have finished an Engineering and Technical Authority Familiarization Course prior to completing any work onboard a ship. Technical authority for each system exists to ensure that U.S. Navy ships successfully meet their mission affordably, safely, and reliably.
“When NSWCPD engages in any repairs or maintenance to a ship, the system must be returned to the approved configuration,” Freedner told the 60 employees attending the virtual session. “We do not leave the ship in a deviated state.”
If the system can’t be returned to the approved configuration, the deviation must be approved by the appropriate LTA. Small deviations or non-conformances can be approved by the local Waterfront Chief Engineer while major deviations must be approved by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Chief Engineer.
Freedner explained that any NSWCPD employee supporting the fleet must contact the LTA responsible for the system prior to arriving to the ship. This ensures the LTA is aware of all maintenance work occurring to the ships for which they are responsible. Any configuration changes must be formally documented and approved by the LTA.
At the end of the session, an employee asked about a situation when they were asked to approve a procedure for a system that they didn’t have designated technical authority. After a few follow up questions from Freedner, it became clear that the employee had done the correct thing by not approving something that they didn’t have technical authority over. Freedner thanked the employee for making the correct decision and offered future help to anyone who has a similar situation.
“If you ever need help, that is one of the reasons our office exists, so please come see me if you have any concerns,” Freedner said.
NSWCPD employs approximately 2,700 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. The NSWCPD team does the research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for the non-nuclear machinery, ship machinery systems, and related equipment and material for Navy surface ships and submarines. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.