NORFOLK (NNS) -- Aiming to improve maintenance efforts and increase ship operational availability across the surface force, Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic hosted a Waterfront Maintenance Symposium, March 3.
Designed to inform officers and enlisted of maintenance process changes across the surface force, nearly 300 officers and chiefs shared lessons learned and ideas during the seminar.
"We all have an important role to ensure we are constantly vigilant on what we can do to make this maintenance program work," said Rear Adm. Pete Gumataotao, commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic. "We are not here to point fingers; we're here to support everyone working together. This event is for us to ask questions like, 'what are we doing as individuals and as a force to make things better.'"
"Maintenance is not easy; we all have to do our part to make maintenance work," said Cmdr. Tom Myers, USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) executive officer. "We have to plan better. We have to work better and we have to know our ships better to do a better job of adhering to procedural compliance."
The event included a number of topics intended to update ship's force and waterfront leaders regarding the latest maintenance planning, compliance and training issues currently affecting the fleet.
"As a 3M coordinator, procedural compliance is a major topic for me," said Chief Gunner's Mate (SW) Shane Miville from USS Truxtun (DDG 103). "It's good to know what they're looking for and I'm excited to take what I learned today back to the Sailors on the deckplates."
The conference also addressed the importance of training, communication and delivering war-ready ships to the fleet. The speakers focused on the importance of operator knowledge, chain-of-command planning and force budgeting.
"I thought this gave us a good idea on the way forward and where the maintenance community within the surface is headed," said Myers. "We still have a lot of bugs to work out, but the fact is we are working to make it better, to make it more efficient and more cost-effective for the fleet."
"We need to educate and most importantly equip our Sailors to do their maintenance the way it needs to be done," said Ensign Tony Mason, from James E. Williams (DDG 95). "There's a lot coming our way as far as maintenance is concerned and this helped us better understand what those things are and how we can better prepare for it."