-- U.S. Navy port engineers are now being awarded formal certifications to mark their level of training, familiarization, and progress in the U.S. Navy Port Engineer Program.
The Port Engineer Program maintains high standards of personnel excellence and integrity through a mix of contract and government port engineers. They must possess a U.S. Coast Guard engineer license; commercial or Navy operating and maintenance expertise; and formal engineering degrees.
Navy Senior Port Engineer Douglas Briscoe, says that port engineers are highly experienced maritime and Navy engineers who provide waterfront maintenance engineering support services to Navy surface ships as well as the Regional Maintenance Commands (RMC) and Combined Fleet Forces Command.
"Each port engineer is assigned to a specific ship to manage and validate all off-ship maintenance," said Briscoe. "We have port engineers at ship homeports all over the world, and the average time on a ship for an engineer is about nine years so they have the ability to properly maintain the schedule and material condition of the ship, as the crew members continuously rotate on and off the ship."
Port engineers must be able to validate and diagnose maintenance requirements; develop a maintenance plan for review and approval by the ship commanding officer and Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet or Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and provide technical leadership and coordination for their maintenance team. Mandatory certification is one way to track required knowledge and experience levels for each engineer.
Port engineer certification is a new feature of the Navy's 32-year-old program and is designed to document each port engineer's professional qualifications. Progress of their continuous training is tracked by a formal and extensive four-level program. Training includes a broad spectrum of technical and process-driven requirements and key evolution familiarization. Briscoe explained that port engineers must pass more than 140 examinations on core knowledge topics and be certified in 47 core evolutions before being awarded a level-three working level certification.
"The new certification in the Port Engineer Program answers the big question about what type of training port engineers have to go through. We document what they have done and where they are in their careers and the port engineers are able to see how they are contributing to the Navy," said Briscoe. "We want to make sure that beyond being the most capable person we hired, that we are continuing the education for each individual, helping them succeed in their professional development plan and ensuring the highest qualified maintenance personnel on the waterfront."
There are more than 140 personnel in the Naval Surface Force Type Commander's staff, who are permanently assigned to individual ships to oversee the administration of maintenance.
Initial presentations have been completed in Norfolk, Va.; Mayport, Fla.; San Diego; Bahrain; and Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and concluded in December with Everett, Wash. and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
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