In October 2018, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) formally asked Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) and Commander Submarine Forces Pacific (COMSUBPAC) to complete a study and provide requirements to close the existing maintenance gaps in executing submarine maintenance in Guam. The island’s strategic location would be the focus of this initiative; however, leadership knew there would be hurdles to overcome due to its remote location. In September 2019, a comprehensive 221-page study, released by Beth Kuanoni and her team, identified the workforce, training, facilities, and equipment requirements needed to provide the capacity and capabilities for a PHNSY & IMF detachment in Guam.
PHNSY & IMF Detachment Guam was approved in December 2019, and the shipyard was authorized to implement Phase I of the Guam 2025 Plan. The shipyard put together the Guam Implementation Team (GIT), also known as C100GIT, to execute the establishment of the shore-based activity. Under the leadership of GIT director Alex Desroches, the team is identifying facility needs that include shop workspaces, administrative and management spaces, equipment, information technology (IT), material spaces and storage. In parallel with the temporary facility build-up, military construction projects are in place for permanent detachment facilities with a target end date of 2028.
Personnel needs are also being fine-tuned, and when the detachment is fully established and operational in 2025, it will consist of more than 170 civilian employees and 400 military personnel permanently assigned to the shore-based Guam detachment. Civilian employees will provide management, guidance, training, mentoring, and development of Sailors, who will be the primary wrench-turning workforce. The training program is crucial in developing Sailors to execute necessary maintenance work. Because the detachment is an extension of PHNSY & IMF, the Guam activity will have reach-back capabilities for support as needed.
Meanwhile, leaders anticipate some challenges in implementing this new detachment. “The biggest challenge is the grand scope of requirements necessary to stand up a shipyard detachment in a remote location,” said Alex Desroches, director of the Guam Implementation Team. “This includes everything from an organizational change request and approval through the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), to identify-ing and securing the resource requirements in the program objective memorandum (POM) and budget, to developing strategies to recruit and fill billets in Guam, and developing local processes for material, work execution and work certification.”
“The Guam Detachment is unique and we can’t use the current templates being used at Fleet Maintenance in Pearl Harbor, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Detachment in Point Loma or the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Detachment in Yokosuka,” said Desroches. “The primary workforce will consist of active-duty Sailors who have transferred from the ship tenders to the shipyard detachment, as well as expeditionary maintenance support needs and additional issues associated with Guam’s remote location. We are building a new organization from scratch that is at the tip of the spear, supporting five “forward-deployed” submarines with the highest OPTEMPO in the fleet.”
For more information on the Guam detachment and future hiring initiatives, stay tuned for the PHNSY & IMF Detachment Guam road shows beginning this fall. The first group of job announcements are targeted for the end of 2021, and the first phase of hiring will begin in early 2022 for key leadership positions in Guam.
For more news from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & IMF, visit navsea.navy.mil/Home/Shipyards/PHNS-IMF or facebook.com/PearlHarborNavalShipyard.