USS Makin Island
“Gung Ho”
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 14, 2016) The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) are underway July 14, 2016 in formation off the coast of San Clemente Island, Calif. during strait transit training as part of Amphibious Squadron - Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration (PMINT). PMINT is the third major exercise of the 11th MEU's pre-deployment training cycle, which operationally combines the efforts of the 11th MEU and PHIBRON 5 for the first time in the training cycle. (US Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Devan K. Gowans/Released)]
USS Makin Island Excels in Aviation Maintenance Inspection

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) aboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) passed the Aviation Maintenance Inspection (AMI), with a score of 100 percent.

The score earned Makin Island's AIMD the number one rank among 50 intermediate maintenance activities, according to the inspection report.

Aviation Maintenance Management Team 4 from Commander, Naval Air Forces conducted the inspection, which occurs every 18-24 months, and assesses multiple aspects of the AIMD including personnel qualifications, training, and drill performance. By passing the inspection, Makin Island's AIMD achieved the necessary certification to perform maintenance on aircraft components and aviation support equipment.

Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class Ronino Eva manages quality assurance audits and played a key role in preparing for the inspection, which examined 38 AIMD programs and evaluated contingency response drills, practical exercises and material condition during the four day assessment.

AMI is crucial to Makin Island's ability to conduct operations, said Eva.

"If AIMD can't operate, aircraft can't fly; scores like that are rare," he said, echoing his pride in the accomplishment. "It's a once-in-a-career type [of] thing."

Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Juvenal Rolon complimented the crew on maintaining their composure and focus during a stressful inspection.

"Our Sailors put in a huge effort," said Rolon. "The team worked hard, starting with our airmen all the way up to the maintenance officer, and the inspectors noticed. They saw that even our most junior Sailors were eager to be involved and didn't shy away from the inspectors. Our team members demonstrated confidence and knowledge of their jobs."

After nearly a year of preparations and inspections leading up to AMI, Rolon said AIMD won't scale back their efforts even though the inspection period has passed.

"It's a relief that the inspection is over," said Rolon, "but that doesn't mean we can let up. We have to maintain high standards all the time, and I'm confident we can continue like this."

Makin Island's Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Officer Lt. Cmdr. Andrei McArthur also complimented his team on the perfect score.

"Every member of the Makin Island AIMD team, E-1 and up, devoted an incredible amount of hard work to the diligent review and maintenance of 38 unique naval aviation maintenance programs," said McArthur. "It was an unbelievable effort and something every one of our team will be able to look back upon with pride."

"The sweat of this great department was apparent during the inspection," said Makin Island Commanding Officer Capt. Jon P. Rodgers. "The department's banner, 'If it's not perfect, it's not right' was validated during this certification."

Makin Island, flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, is conducting integrating training with amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45), amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25), Amphibious Squadron 5 and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in preparation for a scheduled deployment.

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