Sasebo, Japan – Sailors assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) got underway to begin the at-sea evaluation phase of the ship’s Mid-Cycle Inspection (MCI) on Monday. MCI is scheduled mid-way between the three to five year Boards of Inspection and Survey, or INSURVs.
MCI, like INSURV, is a detailed material condition readiness examination of U.S. Navy vessels. The inspection results are published to the Department of Navy and Congress. These reports contain information about a crew’s maintenance practices and operational capabilities.
Preparation for an MCI involves Sailors going into the nooks and crannies of a ship to indentify discrepancies to be repaired by themselves, by specially qualified Sailors, or a Ship’s Repair Force (SRF).
“We’re assessing our abilities to assess ourselves,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Dike, Assistant MCI Coordinator for Bonhomme Richard.
The underway portion of MCI is a way for Type Commander Material Inspection Teams (TMIT) and INSURV inspectors to confirm that the ship operates properly.
Many evolutions cannot be evaluated unless the ship is underway. Engineering personnel cannot demonstrate the steam plant’s abilities, and many damage control items cannot be accurately tested until out to sea, said Dike.
“Can we look at our ship objectively, find all the flaws and fix it,” explains Dike. “This is the recipe for a successful MCI.”
The evolution will span three days as TMIT and INSURV inspectors boarded Bonhomme Richard to execute more than 575 graded events.
Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and is forward-deployed out of Sasebo, Japan in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.