USS O’Kane entered its $11.5 million Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) maintenance period within a month of returning from nearly an eight month deployment. This overhaul is the first step in a series of maintenance periods that will prepare the ship for the training and inspection cycle, and ultimately, for the next deployment. A ship typically enters SRA, which lasts for a few months, after its deployment. This is a prime opportunity for installing upgraded equipment, in addition to conducting major repairs. Among the big ticket items in the SRA plans are the overhauls of the berthings (the crew’s living spaces). While minor habitability upgrades are made during other, shorter maintenance periods, the SRA provides enough time to do a full overhaul of the system.
When asked what is unique about this SRA, Lt. Michael Arnold, the ship’s maintenance management officer, replied, “We are trying to tackle jobs that would normally require us to be in dry dock. The sheer number of tanks being worked on, the complete overhaul of the galley and over half of the berthing spaces, normally this would be done while the ship is out of the water.”
Another challenge for this SRA is accommodating for the holidays. Juggling leave, schools, and all of the maintenance requires flexibility and foresight. Additionally, agencies like the shipyard have required safety briefs and training sessions for their workers to attend.
“It’s tough,” Lt. j.g. Andrew Hetzner, O’Kane’s ordnance officer, said. “In addition to my normal duties, I have to track all of the departmental work since I am filling in for my department head while he’s on leave.”
Information Systems Technician Second Class Raquel Brusher said, “Things have leveled out now that we’ve established our new work space. Moving the local area network and setting up all of the computers in our annex barge was a challenge, especially when we were still required to be in the ship’s communications center while the contractors were working on our equipment.”
Now, about a quarter of the way through the SRA, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and ship’s force workers have taken the time to assess the maintenance schedule. While some jobs take more time than anticipated, others are being accomplished well ahead of schedule.
“We are completing these tanks quicker [than ever]… We are on track to complete them with a new land-speed record,” BAE’s project manager, Manny DelRio, said at a recent morning meeting.
O’Kane sailors and contractors are working diligently to keep the ship safe and the maintenance on schedule, in order to get O’Kane through the post-SRA training and assessment cycle.