BREMERTON, Wash. –
The Naval Sustainment System – Shipyard Engineering Pillar is focused on removing or mitigating barriers to accomplish work safer, faster and with the highest quality by applying engineering methods and technical authority to challenging requirements and implementing new methods and technology. The Engineering Pillar is led by Rear Adm. Jason Lloyd, NAVSEA chief engineer, NAVSEA 05, and the source of shipyard technical authority.
The first major goal set for the Engineering Pillar is to remove 90,000 cumulative resource-days of work from availabilities at all four public shipyards over the next two years. A few examples of efforts underway in this area are the use of Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing for submarine structural inspections; Auto-Hydro Lance Condenser Cleaning — developed at PSNS & IMF; 10X abrasive to replace coal slag for blasting; and changes to preservation requirements on inactivation projects — also developed at PSNS & IMF. More than 40,000 resource-days of potential savings have been identified, and more than 16,000 resource-days savings have been incorporated into planned work.
Lloyd has also directed the pillar to focus on improving the relationship between NAVSEA 05 and the four shipyards. He wants to use increased cooperation to reduce the burdens that we as a corporation have placed upon ourselves over many years. During a recent visit to PSNS & IMF, he relayed a story to a group of engineers to illustrate his vision. At the heart of that story was how one voice can make a difference, when given the right opportunity and the right audience. What NSS-SY is doing is creating a community where more voices are given more opportunities, with the people who can help make impactful and lasting changes to shipyard processes and resources.
Lloyd is directing his staff—and encouraging all of us—to adopt a mindset of “we.” There should be no “they” within our NAVSEA enterprise. He admits that there is a lot of growing to do, both at NAVSEA headquarters and at the shipyards. But we will make meaningful changes as we learn to communicate more often and more effectively with each other. We will build better working relationships when we assume noble intent from each other — believing we all want to do our best to serve our Navy and our nation. With NSS-SY, there is an opportunity to Get Real about our situations and the challenges we sometimes live with, and Get Better by elevating these issues to the right level. Never before have we had this level of engagement from leadership looking for ways to improve upon what we work with day in and day out. It is about removing barriers and listening to our needs.
> NSS-SY AT WORK <
In 2013, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility engineering sent a letter to a submarine planning yard to question a requirement. The requirement was that a certain air system must be maintained with very low moisture, having a dew point of -40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. This requirement was created following lessons learned in the loss of the USS Thresher (SSN 593). PHNSY & IMF requested that for a specific series of tests, this requirement be relaxed, because it could never be met. Each time the requirement was not met resulted in rework, increased overtime expenses, a departure from specifications, and delays to the project schedule due to the rework and the DFS approval process. The request to relax the requirement was denied by the planning yard.
Over the years, this request was re-submitted and denied by several different entities. But, this year, a PHNSY & IMF engineer submitted the idea to the Engineering Pillar Task Discovery Team. The TDT worked with the engineer to prepare the idea for discussion with the Engineering Intervention Board, chaired by Rear Adm. Jason Lloyd. The EIB is an intervention developed as part of NSS-SY. In the EIB meeting, the PHNSY engineer was able to speak directly with the relevant technical authorities. She was able to explain that in these tests, the system is not in service and the affected pipe is open to atmosphere. With that understanding, the technical warrant holder changed the requirement for this series of tests.
“My goal with the EIB is to get [the shipyard engineer] to talk to my tech warrant holder, because, when they did that, they solved a 10-year problem in 10 minutes,” Lloyd said. “This isn’t the only one. I’ve got three or four other ones that we’re working on right now. Same kind of thing: failure to communicate within ‘we’, within ‘us’. That’s how [NSS-SY] is different. To me, that’s how it’s different than what we’ve done before.”