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CHIPS Articles: Success Stories from Naval Surface Forces and the Surface Warfare Enterprise

Success Stories from Naval Surface Forces and the Surface Warfare Enterprise
By Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs - October-December 2008
Management of Naval Surface Forces (NAVSURFOR) is organized under the Surface Warfare Enterprise (SWE), an organizational construct established in 2005 that seeks to optimize warfighting readiness of the Surface Fleet.

Continuous process improvements support the SWE mission accomplishments in each core area of maintenance, modernization, logistics, manning and training.

Under the SWE, Class Squadrons, or CLASSRONs, were developed as functional command organizations that represent each major class of ship. CLASSRONs are responsible for the manning, training, equipping, modernizing and maintenance of the ships in their class.

CLASSRONs work directly for the Current Readiness Officer, Naval Surface Force Atlantic. They provide the warfighter perspective from the waterfront to the Cross-Functional Teams that help prioritize SWE efforts to meet NAVSURFOR’s primary objective of "Warships Ready for Tasking."

The enterprise approach aligns multiple organizations to function as a single entity delivering the right force — at the right places — at the right time — and at the right cost through the careful stewardship of resources.

SWE efforts to increase warfighting readiness have direct impact on the waterfront.

Diesel Engine Lube Oil Purifier Cleaning

Fast-track development leads to resource and manpower savings

A collaborative initiative, between LSD/LPD-17 Class Squadrons, Naval Sea Systems Command’s PMS 470, Expeditionary Warfare, and Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station (NAVSSES), fast-tracked the development and subsequent implementation of a new diesel engine lube oil purifier cleaning process that changes the way Navy ships usually do the job.

In this case, the new process of purifier cleaning means that a considerable number of Navy resources will be saved, including costs for labor, maintenance and repairs. The new process will also reduce the collateral damage associated with improperly maintained diesel engines.

The old method had Sailors hand-cleaning individual purifier assembly discs, a process that had to be done daily, and then reassembling the discs in the correct order so the purifiers would meet maintenance and safety clearances.

LSDRON learned that Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships don't disassemble their lube oil purifier strainer assemblies for routine cleaning. Instead, they remove them as a unit and dip them for one hour in a special commercial phosphoric acid-based solvent, and then rinse them clean. The disc packs emerge from the solvent gleaming as if they were new. The method is safe, effective and cuts the time for maintenance and reduces the risks for damaging equipment significantly.

“Though the old method is the way it had always been done, the process had to be improved as it took too much time and manpower, and we found that ships were breaking the purifiers at high rates and spending a lot of money to fix them. Through research and talking to people we found that MSC ships used this nonobtrusive way to clean the purifiers.

"We found it to be highly efficient in regards to saving time, ship parts and money. We knew this was a better way to work and began the fast-track push towards getting it approved and implemented,” said Capt. Michael Hill, the LSD/LPDRON deputy commander.

With Capt. Craig Kleint, LSDRON commodore, and PMS 470 personnel watching, a successful cleaning demonstration was held aboard the dock landing ship Fort McHenry (LSD 43) last summer in Norfolk, Va.

Capt. Kleint said that Fort McHenry Sailors using the MSC procedure were impressed with how easily and quickly they could clean the discs. They were also excited because the new process would reduce cleaning time and improve mission effectiveness.

LSDRON engineering representatives were onboard USS Rushmore (LSD 47) to observe engineering evolutions and during the visit, LSDRON staff told Rushmore engineers about the recently approved new procedure.

Engineman Senior Chief Bryan Richards said, "Currently, it takes four hours to clean our main engine lube oil purifiers. If this new process and cleaner will help cut the time to one hour, then I'm all for that!"

The development and implementation of the new process took a bit of time, but CLASSRON personnel remained motivated because they well understood its advantage to the fleet, according to Hill.

“We fully expect this information to be widely shared and the process to hit the fleet in the next six months. Once implemented, the process will be exported to other ship classes such as the San Antonio amphibious transport dock and the Avenger-class mine countermeasure ships. The benefits will be long-reaching and long-term,” Hill said.

Technology Keeps FFG Resources in Stock

Efforts mean vital circuit card assemblies will not become obsolete

Members of the Naval Surface Forces (NAVSURFOR) N41 group made significant headway in identifying repair options for guided missile frigate (FFG) circuit card assemblies (CCAs) that are in danger of depletion because repair and replacement capabilities for the CCAs did not exist. But the N41 group’s careful analysis has already led to some repair solutions.

FFG 7-class Engineering Plant Control System (EPCS) reported deficiencies in performance and systems supportability in regard to the CCAs that are among the EPCS components. There are 64 CCAs that are unique to the FFG-class EPCS.

“The goal of the analysis project is for officers and contractors to use new technologies to find better ways to maintain and repair the CCAs that will save the fleet money, improve ship efficiency and resource management for all of the Navy’s FFG- class EPCS CCAs,” said Capt. Harry W. Davis, force supply officer for NAVSURFOR. “We estimate that once Gold Disk program developers and staff conclude the analysis we can implement a new repair capability and find the solution for repair and re-stocking.”

To date, 29 of the 64 circuit card assemblies were identified as part of the Gold Disk program with fleet and shore micro-miniature (2M) repair sites identified with the capability to repair these CCAs. Gold Disk routines are diagnostic troubleshooting aids used in conjunction with 2M repair to isolate and repair faulty components on circuit card assemblies and electronic modules.

A testability/reparability analysis has been completed for the remaining cards and eight to 12 CCAs can be “Gold Disk” developed by year end which includes the capability to repair the parts. There are 15 CCAs that have less than one year to depletion, 18 CCAs that have two to three years to depletion, eight CCAs with three to five years to depletion and 23 CCAs with five years to depletion.

Yet to be identified are any CCAs which may not be repairable. Once the analysis is completed, NAVSURFOR can then prioritize which CCAs to develop first and plan for the way ahead.

“We estimate [that] we will save the FFG class EPCS community about $85,000 the first year,” Davis said. “The new repair capabilities will impact CCA part replacement and repair with tangible and money-saving results.”

Sailors will also have specific written instructions for the CCAs resulting in a higher repair capability rate. Eventually the changes will be in effect for all FFG 7-class Engineering Plant Control Systems.

Seattle, Wash. (May 20, 2008) A Landing Craft, Air Cushion hovers over the surface of Elliot Bay behind the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) during a parade of ships in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Beckjord.
Seattle, Wash. (May 20, 2008) A Landing Craft, Air Cushion hovers over the surface of Elliot Bay behind the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) during a parade of ships in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Beckjord.

USS Thatch (FFG 43) steams through the Indian Ocean waiting to participate in a replenishment at sea with the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac.
USS Thatch (FFG 43) steams through the Indian Ocean waiting to participate in a replenishment at sea with the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac.
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