PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii –
Rear Adm. Scott Brown visited Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) in May to review shipyard operations in his new role as the Deputy Commander for Industrial Operations, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA 04). With a focus on safety, culture and productivity at the NAVSEA 04 level, Brown set out to observe and gain insight about PHNSY & IMF functions that could help him provide better support for the shipyard’s mission.
Already intimately familiar with the Pearl Harbor-based shipyard due to his previous position as the Director, Fleet Maintenance at U.S. Pacific Fleet, Brown’s first visit under his NAVSEA 04 role included discussions with shipyard employees and leadership on how to best approach the corporate Naval Sustainment System – Shipyard (NSS-SY) initiative. With a growing demand across the fleet for vessel maintenance, NSS-SY focuses on meeting the commitment of on time, every time for ship and submarine availabilities at all four public naval shipyards.
During his visit, Brown actively participated in waterfront focus groups at the junior and senior levels and attended a production control center meeting with management representatives. According to Brown, he received valuable feedback from the PHNSY & IMF workforce that will lend to conversations at higher levels within the corporate NSS-SY structure known as Pillars. These nine pillars, led by Flag-level officers, represent the following mission areas of each public naval shipyard: Engineering, Planning, Materials, Inside Shops, Waterfront, Shipyard Resourcing, Fleet Operations, Infrastructure, and Information Technology.
Overall, Rear Adm. Brown noted that PHNSY & IMF has already started implementing best practices in support of their mission of keeping the fleet fit to fight, and explained that the NSS-SY team is leveraging the Chief of Naval Operations’ Get Real, Get Better initiative to get ships and submarines back to the fleet on time, every time.
“Part of this initiative is the idea of ‘Fix or Elevate’ - in that there are certain problems that are outside of your control or not within your authority to fix, and you should be elevating those to your leadership in a spirit of trust,” Brown said. “Focus on what you have control over, and then elevate things that are not within your control so the Navy can work on those. It’s a great opportunity for us to do that as a team because there is so much Navy attention on this.”
The two-day interaction with Rear Adm. Brown helped to illuminate certain steps moving forward with regard to the overarching role of NSS-SY. Issues highlighted in across his discussions with the workforce included acquisition of material, information technology and human resources.
“I think Admiral Brown is here to understand where we are as far as progress toward executing the shipyard’s mission and our involvement of improvement initiatives,” said Miles Kotoshirodo, Submarine Program Manager for PHNSY & IMF. “Basically we, as a shipyard, are going to have to make sure we solicit input from our people who are out on the waterfront executing the work, then provide the feedback to those who are external to the shipyard and are leading the [NSS-SY] pillars to make sure they are working on all the things that can make a difference for us.”
PHNSY & IMF is a field activity of NAVSEA and a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii, with a combined civilian, military and contractor workforce of approximately 7,100. It is the most comprehensive fleet repair and maintenance facility between the U.S. West Coast and the Far East, strategically located in the heart of the Pacific, being about a week’s steaming time closer to potential regional contingencies in the Indo-Pacific.
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