USS MUSTIN, At Sea - Zone inspections are not a new thing to shipboard Sailors, but the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) is taking the strategy to new lengths during their ship-wide zone inspection at sea Nov. 27 – Dec. 1.
The goal of the five-day zone inspection is to ensure all ship’s spaces are inspected in a very short time, and for departments report any discrepancies affecting the ship’s material readiness.
For the ship’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Michael V. Misiewicz, this will be the first ship-wide inspection of all ship spaces while under his command and done in a manner he and his crew see has an opportunity to take advantage of.
“Doing this ship-wide inspection is very important because the crew is making a huge investment in the ship’s future, honestly the Navy’s future,” he said. “With this inspection it will help us identify and prioritize for the future, what the most important jobs and work requirements are to improve the material readiness of the ship.”
Initiated by preparation of Mustin’s senior leadership, the ship-wide inspections take place during the early hours of the workday. Sailors are grouped into teams with different subject matter experts on board and work together throughout the ship inspecting every single space and piece of equipment and evaluate whether or not the space and equipment is in satisfactory condition. According to Misiewicz, another plus for Mustin Sailors conducting this inspection is the training generated.
“While our Sailors are learning more about the ship, venturing into spaces they are not necessarily familiar with, at the same time, this inspection allows us to harness the capabilities of senior leadership and to train everyone in their teams on what to look for in terms of safety, damage control, equipment operability, preservation, habitability, cleanliness and stowage,” Misiewicz said.
The ship’s primary inspection format is known to the crew as the division in the spotlight (DITS). During this inspection cycle, which Mustin executes quarterly for each division on board, all of the divisional spaces and programs are examined thoroughly for a week by an inspection team.
Misiewicz said with the new additional ship-wide inspection process his crew is conducting every six months, it will help the command instantly identify common ship-wide issues in spaces and equipment. More importantly, the follow-up to the new ship-wide zone inspection requires documenting every discrepancy in the current ship’s maintenance project (CSMP), which allows prioritizing work for near and long-term repair periods and inspections such as docking selected restricted availability (DSRA) and board of inspection and survey (INSURV). The follow-up documentation of the zone inspection also allows the ship to report how much time each Sailor spends to inspect, document and correct material deficiencies, which better communicates to the Navy the manning needed to maintain our ships in the Fleet.
“DITS is a great program we have on board and it addresses many of the manning, training, and material readiness issues we need to recognize to keep our ship programs and equipment in the highest readiness condition,” Misiewicz said. “With this inspection we are currently conducting, looking at entire ship together and pointing out things we can do to make the ship better will only benefit Mustin and our Navy.”
Through thorough self-assessment and inspection, it is an investment in current readiness, but most important, it is an investment in future readiness, as all leaders and Sailors aboard Mustin will be better trained to conduct self-assessment and inspections in the future, not only aboard Mustin, but in their future commands,” Misiewicz added.
While the current inspection is very detailed and requires a lot of man hours. Mustin Sailors agree it has its benefits for the crew and the ship.
“Doing the inspection of the entire ship is worth it,” said Ensign Ryan Bieshaar. “I know for myself, working down in engineering because of this inspection, I now have seen many more spaces on board than I would have ever seen. It is a good way to become even more familiar with my ship by seeing where everyone works.”
“I think is good for our ship because it gets more eyes on all of the spaces of our ship,” said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW) Kyle Payne from Brentwood, Calif. “We learn a lot during DITS, but doing this check of the entire ship as a command and having subject matter experts go through all of the spaces with us, teaching us what to look for, it will make us a more knowledgeable crew for the future and will help us preserve our spaces and the ship more effectively.”.
Mustin, commanded by Cmdr. Michael V. Misiewicz, is currently conducting routine operations and training in the Pacific Ocean. Mustin is assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.