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NEWS | July 6, 2021

Developing and Executing Facility Improvements: An Infrastructure Pillar Team and Public Works Partnership

By Jason Scarborough, Public Affairs Specialist Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Editor’s Note: Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s Strategic Framework is a tool to communicate the shipyard’s mission and vision statements, and shows how initiatives executed across the command tie together with why NNSY exists—to deliver warships.  In order to bridge the gap between mission and vision, NNSY has identified four critical focus areas—our pillars.  These pillars are the highest priority strategic focus areas we must urgently work to improve.  They are Infrastructure; Dependable Mission Delivery; People Development; and Process Improvement and Innovation.  


Every successful project requires some type of teamwork across the shipyard. The Infrastructure Pillar Team (IPT) is not the exception.


Supporting readiness for the U.S. Navy by improving productivity and increasing maintenance throughput to deliver combat-ready ships and submarines on time is vital for Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY).  To plan, modernize and execute NNSY facility improvement projects to meet the NNSY mission is the job of NNSY’s Public Works Department (PWD), the IPT and Program Manager Ships (PMS 555).


Today, NNSY’s continues to capitalize on a strong partnership with the PWD and PMS 555 to plan for facilities initiatives as well as develop and execute their improvements.  In total, Fiscal Year 21 (FY21) will provide over $13 million dollars in sustainment projects that address the most urgent facility deficiencies, through prioritizing operational impacts, life safety and nuclear standards issues.  Recent successes include breaking ground on a new Combined Heat and Power Plant and Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant that will support NNSY operations, provide energy security and generate resource savings for the next generation. Additionally, NNSY successfully aligned Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) to champion support for reinstating funding to a $26 million dollar project that will restore fire protection systems and renovate unoccupied and underutilized space in Bldg. 510, resolving the most significant facility safety discrepancies on NNSY.


The IPT and Public Works Partnership has developed a facilities sustainment Maintenance Execution Plan (MEP) for FY21 and is aggressively executing ahead of schedule. In February, a $4.9 million dollar project was awarded to replace a major fire alarm system with upgraded radio-based alarm boxes.  This upgrade will eliminate reliance on decades-old copper wire systems that have contended with outages and unreliable service, significantly enhancing the safety posture for the shipyard. Progressing towards a fourth quarter award of a $2 million dollar replacement of an elevator in Bldg. 1505 to improve the reliability and safety of personnel movement in the facility that currently houses our Operations and Production leadership.


In preparation for FY22, the team is focused on the development of the Maintenance Action Plan (MAP) – the targeted list of facility sustainment projects that will be selected for execution in the next fiscal year.  In addition to ensuring the appropriate projects are selected, the team has committed to improving its feedback process to facility occupants communicating the status of resolution of identified deficiencies.  This enhanced communication will establish expectations and ensure accountability, as well as demonstrate the important corrective actions are being taken.


The IPT is made up of leadership from various functional areas of the shipyard:  Facilities; Base Operations; Information Technology; Safety; Contracting; Nuclear Operations and PMS 555 representatives. These members will continue to focus on striking a purposeful and optimized balance between operational requirements, regulations, safety and quality of life.