Navy created shipyard-focused sustainment program based off similar aviation effort

By Justin Katz  
October 2, 2019 at 12:15 PM

The Navy this summer created an offshoot of an aviation maintenance initiative championed by top Pentagon brass that is aimed at improving the turnaround times of shipyard maintenance availabilities.

The effort, dubbed Naval Sustainment System -- Shipyards, is based on the similarly named aviation program being implemented at the service's Fleet Readiness Centers.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and Vice Adm. Dewolfe Miller, commander of naval air forces, have said the aviation program is focused on improving maintenance practices by bringing in industry to view the fleet's work firsthand. The Navy awarded a $21 million contract to Boston Consulting Group last year to begin implementing changes.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard announced last month one of the first efforts under the new initiative, NSS-S, is scrutinizing the current maintenance availability for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), which arrived in Norfolk, VA, in February.

"One of the immediate improvements on the project as part of NSS-S was implementing a topside temporary material storage area for NNSY's Outside Machine Shop (Shop 38) on the carrier flight deck. The material storage area improves accessibility and convenience for mechanics performing jobs onboard," according to the shipyard’s statement.

Navy spokeswoman Anna Taylor told Inside Defense in a statement yesterday that Naval Sea Systems Command is spearheading the program with efforts starting at Norfolk and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, WA. The service will eventually expand its efforts to all four public shipyards.

The Boston Consulting Group, the firm hired to improve the Navy's aviation enterprise, has completed a six-week assessment of both Norfolk and Puget Sound's facilities, Taylor added.