NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– ALRE is working to improve support for Nimitz-class carriers by making global changes to how all launch and recovery products and systems are tracked and planned.
By re-examining ALRE’s external stakeholder relationships and ship availability schedules, product teams are improving planning and embracing a new rigor for getting parts, services and systems to the warfighter when and where they are. required.
In response to Rear Admiral James Downey’s priorities for PEOs (carriers), Capt. Ken Sterbenz, PMA-251 program manager, is working with Navy leaders to connect to ship readiness.
“We are committed to seeing our products from start to finish in availability,” said Joe Hader, deputy program manager for the PMA-251 program for Nimitz-class and air-capable ships. “ALRE products touch many parts of our carriers, and we are committed to maintaining a higher level of ownership and oversight to ensure progress.”
In late 2021, Hader began prioritizing an overhaul of USS George Washington’s (CVN-73) work order and reevaluated ALRE’s schedule for support.
“CVN-73 is a good example; we identified a baseline and made sure we understood the interdependencies of our systems, as well as the dependencies of our systems on other programs, and worked from there,” Hader said. . “This information is synthesized weekly and disseminated to various stakeholders such as PMA-251, the In-Service Carrier Program (PMS-312), Naval Air Warfare Center Lakehurst Aviation Division, Naval Construction Supervisors and type commanders.”
One of the systems Hader’s team analyzed is the ship’s ADMACS system, which interfaces with all other ALRE systems and depends on communication and coordination to succeed. Establishing the CVN-73 baseline helped the team more effectively plan for USS John Stennis (CVN-74) before beginning its Replenishment Complex Overhaul (RCOH).
“We’re taking everything we’ve done for CVN-73 and applying it to CVN-74, so we can proactively manage what’s happening now and in the future and identify when we can help before it happens. be urgent,” Hader explained. “This experience will be particularly useful for the CVN-74, as its planned availability is only four years, instead of five. We will collaboratively manage some of the other smaller, but still critical availabilities such as Planned Incremental Dry Dock Availability, Planned Incremental Availability and Selected Restricted Availability. We have started to support these efforts.
Examples of the new success of planning and monitoring are beginning to emerge. Recently, CVN-73 has had difficulty acquiring valves from its overhaul contractor in a timely manner. Although Leslie valves are not a PMA-251 configuration item, they are essential to the production work and functionality of the Steam Catapult. ALRE worked with PMS-312 management, the contractor and other stakeholders to deliver the valves and meet critical vessel milestones.
In another example, while overhauling CVN-73, the ship’s crews realized that several hundred parts were out of place when reinstalling the arrester and ARC systems. ALRE worked with stakeholders to identify the parts needed and their due dates. At the end of May 2022, they ensured the delivery of all essential components to CVN-73, and the project remained on track to complete with no critical path impact.
Hader and his team expect the change in operations to make it easier to install and maintain carrier products, however schedules may change in an uncertain global security environment.