This year's National Ship Repair Industry Conference (NSRIC) was held at the Embassy Suites Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia, from March 14-17, 2016. As in past years, the NSRIC was coordinated and organized by the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) and jointly sponsored by the five Ship Repair Associations (Virginia, San Diego, Jacksonville, Puget Sound, and Hawaii). Special thanks for the success of the Conference is extended to RADM (Ret) Jeff Brooks, Senior Defense Advisor, SCA, Ashley Godwin, Senior Defense Advisor, SCA, and the SCA Staff.
The conference was attended by some 130 representatives of the nation's ship repair industry and included several networking receptions, a formal dinner at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, presentations and discussions with senior Navy and Military Sealift Command executives, Congressional briefings by member of Congress, the traditional "Hill Crawl" consisting of many in-office Congressional meetings on Capital Hill, and, on the morning of March 17th, the Industry/Navy Discussion Panel (INDP – former JINII).
Following registration and a reception on the evening of March 14th, the Conference began on Tuesday, March 15th, with detailed presentations by Honorable Sean Stackley, ASN (R,D&A); VADM Hilarides, Commander, NAVSEA; RADM Christopher Grady, COMNAVSURFLANT; Mr. John Thackrah, Executive Director, MSC; and RDML Galinis, CNRMC and SEA 21. Highlights of the comments and discussions held included:
- Currently have a 272 ship Navy with goal of achieving 308 by 2021.
- Currently have 65 ships under construction.
- Must modernize and maintain current ships.
- Bringing in a third party assessor (First Marine International) to assess the status of the ship repair industrial base. He acknowledged that there is no clear ship repair industrial base champion in the Navy.
- MSMO to MACMO in transition – must leverage pros and manage cons
- Currently have 260 Contracting Officers at NAVSEA Headquarters that process 60,000 contractual actions per year – this is the "right" number of Contracting Officers.
- The projected workload in FY 2017/2018 and required Cruiser modernization leads to a concern for a lack of sufficient numbers of dry docks in Norfolk.
- He is working on a Memorandum of Agreement setting parameters between the Navy and contractors for ship maintenance. (This approach seems similar to past efforts such as Pre-Availability Agreements, etc. It is uncertain how this will be coordinated with the MACMO contract strategy)
- MSC desires to increase contractor participation in ship repair contracts in Hampton Roads (It was noted that all MSC ship repair work is small business set-asides)
- Five priorities:
- Execution of availabilities – process improvements
- Fleet sustainment
- New contract strategy implementation – will conduct Hot Washes for lessons learned.
- Execution of Cruiser modernization (2-4-6 Program or bring all 7 in now?)
- LCS Class maintenance integration
- SURFMEP – has good handle on tank status – current challenge is uptakes/downtakes
- MACMO contracts – FFP with 20% small business goal (not a strict requirement)
On the afternoon of March 15th, a panel discussion on the "Health of the National Ship Repair Industrial Base" was moderated by Bill Clifford, Retired President, BAE Ship Repair. The panel included RADM Berkey, Director Fleet Maintenance, U.S. Fleet Forces; RADM Moore, PEO – Aircraft Carriers; RDML Galinis, CNRMC and SEA-21; Sharon Smoot (SES), Executive Director, Logistics, Maintenance, and Industrial Operations, NAVSEA; RADM (Ret) Campbell, VP and General Manager, BAE Ship Repair; Mr. Godfrey, President and CEO, Colonna's Shipyard; and Mr. Pritchard, General Manager, NASSCO San Diego. Highlights of the presentations and discussions held included:
RADM Berkey/RADM Moore/RDML Galinis
- There is no connection between contract structure (i.e., fixed price vice cost type) and predictability of workload.
- MSMO provided "false predictability" of workload – MSMO contracts did not dictate port workload.
- He has a problem with ship maintenance planning being done by a third party – one reason CVN maintenance has remained in the MSMO structure.
- Asked the panel who in the Navy is the private ship repair industrial base champion. RDML Galinis stated that he was the champion for day-to-day issues. However, all agreed that, on bigger, strategic issues, no one is the clear industrial base champion.
On March 16th, the Conference moved to Capital Hill. During the morning, the attendees were briefed by several members of Congress, including Congressman Forbes, Congressman Garamendi, Congressman Wittman, and Senator Kaine. Each member of Congress addressed the pending budget talks, the importance of the ship repair budget, and support for the Jones Act. These sessions were followed by a joint luncheon co-hosted by ASNE at the Hyatt Hotel during which Congressman Crenshaw provided comments. The luncheon was followed by the Conference attendees breaking up into small groups to visit and discuss ship repair issues in several Congressional offices during the "Hill Crawl".
On the morning of March 17th, RDML Galinis and his CNRMC staff held the Industry/Navy Discussion Panel (INDP – former JINII). Highlights of the presentations and discussions included:
- Small Business Round Tables will be conducted on April 12th in Norfolk and April 19th in San Diego.
- A Maintenance and Modernization Program Review (MMPR) will be conducted 19-21 April (location TBD)
- 70-75% of required CFRs submitted have no relation to production – just pushing paper. Only about 11% are technical.
- Port Workload – Industrial Base Stability
- Some 8,000 individual Shipalt inputs are outstanding
- AIT contractor support by primes is included in port workload charts but NOT the AITs actual workload – Navy needs visibility of AIT work.
- Coast-wide projects are NOT in port workload charts.
- Change Management
- Median time to process an RCC is 23 days.
- Drivers of change delay
- Volume – 2-3,000 CFRs per availability
- Funding availability
- Processes at RMCs are different by port
In summary, the 2016 NSRIC was a great success. The attendees had significant opportunities to engage in meaningful and in-depth discussions amongst their peers, the Navy leadership, and Congressional leaders on current issues facing the national ship repair industry.
« Return to Newsletter