Industry/Navy Discussion Panel
Submitted by: Ronald K. Ritter, OnPoint, LLC
On September 11, 2014, following the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium, the first Industry Navy Discussion Panel (INDP) which is the replacement for the Joint Industry/Navy Improvements Initiative (JINII), was convened.
The panel included Rear Admiral Richard D. Berkey, Deputy Chief of Staff, Fleet Maintenance, U.S. Fleet Forces Command; Rear Admiral William J. Galinis, Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Centers (CNRMC); and Mr. Dale Hirschman, Technical Director, CNRMC. Attendees included over one hundred industry representatives.
Mr. Hirschman led the discussion of several current, critical issues facing both the Navy and industry in the area of shipbuilding, repair and modernization, each of which was followed by a lively discussion by the attendees:
- Fire Prevention.
As the result of several shipboard fires, including the loss of the submarine USS Miami, the Navy has issued new Standard Items requiring significant administrative and practical changes to the conduct of shipboard availabilities. These include more frequent walkthroughs of ships’ spaces, closer scrutiny of hot work areas, increased firefighting capability, banning of certain machinery onboard the vessel, and other measures to reduce the possibility of a fire.
- Schedule Adherence/Integration.
Given the current surface ship operational schedules coupled with the austere fiscal climate, the Navy representatives emphasized the essential need to adhere to schedules and that all work is efficiently and effectively integrated into each ship’s work package. The Navy representatives agreed that the Navy has a significant role to play in providing to the prime contractor in a timely manner the scheduled AIT, FMA, Ship’s Force, and NSY work that will be accomplished during the availability in order for the contractor to provide a fully integrated schedule, which must now be in GANTT format to ensure all participants can be fully involved. The Navy representatives advised that the prime contractor must submit an Integrated Production Schedule at 60 days prior to availability start, which all agreed was a challenging goal to meet. The industry representatives emphasized the need for the Navy to provide all of their input to this schedule in a timely manner. It was also noted by both industry and Navy representatives that the issue of timely AIT schedule notification has been an issue for many years and requires renewed emphasis by the Navy.
It was noted by the Navy representatives that “the contractor owns growth, while the Navy owns new work.” In this regard, the Navy representative advised that industry must identify growth work at no later than the 20% mark of an availability’s production schedule and that this requirement will be invoked in all forthcoming MACMO contracts. RDML Galinis noted that in Fiscal year 2014, CNRMC saw 40% new work/growth over what was planned in surface ship maintenance contracts. This level is unacceptable and unsustainable. Thus, change management and execution planning are top issues with regard to getting items into production.
The Industry/Navy Discussion Panel was a valuable event that fostered a healthy and informative dialogue between senior industry and Navy maintenance and modernization representatives. By holding the Discussion Panel directly following the ASNE Fleet Maintenance Symposium, both Navy and industry representation was maximized.