Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
Fleet Maintenance Effectiveness Reviews &
Why You Should Care About Them

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind that comes with hard work and forget that, while solving problems, you’re building something to be proud of and shaping the future. In many ways, that’s the basis behind FLEETMERs.


Also known as Fleet MER (Maintenance Effectiveness Review), this is an event that looks at Navy maintenance requirements and work procedures in an effort to validate their effectiveness and improve them if necessary. It’s all about making sure that maintenance is being done in the best way possible now and for future generations. In some cases, the FLEETMER can even show that maintenance isn’t necessary at all.

FLEETMERs bring together systems experts from across the Navy to review and improve the preventive and corrective maintenance performed by our expert Sailors, regional maintenance centers, and the nation’s public and private shipyards. The fundamental objective of the FLEETMER process is to provide our Fleet with the best maintenance plan possible and to get our national assets to the end of their useful service life. In this feature, we’ll look at how systems are selected for review, who participates in FLEETMERs, the Backfit Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) methodology, and how you can get involved.

Not Just for Norfolk and San Diego anymore!

In the past, FLEETMERs took place in Norfolk, Virginia and San Diego, California on a quarterly basis. More locations were added in fiscal year (FY) 2015 with one every two months, through FY 2017. In addition to Norfolk and San Diego, FLEETMERs will be held in Mayport, Fla., and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The Selection Process... an annual the maintenance planning–engineering analysis (MP-EA) process, a disciplined, data-driven approach validated by Fleet maintainers, identifies systems that are worthwhile candidates for RCM analysis. Not only does this analysis deliver systems for review but is likely to result in improvements to safety, regulatory compliance, mission effectiveness, or lower total life-cycle maintenance costs.

Who Should Participate in a FLEETMER?


 Personnel Readiness


 Combat Readiness


 Material Readiness


 Heritage & Recognition




FLEETMER events are most successful when each of three legs of expertise supports the event. The first leg features the Sailors and subject matter experts (SMEs) who are most familiar with the day-to-day system, equipment and component operation, maintenance and repair issues. In addition to Type Commanders (TYCOMSs), Activities/organizations that may provide SMEs include regional maintenance centers (RMCs), performance monitoring teams (PMTs), Board of Survey Inspections (INSURV), and original equipment manufacturers(OEMs).

The next leg is represented by Navy technical warrant holders (TWH) and in-service engineering agents (ISEAs). These activities are ultimately responsible for the safe design and maintenance for their assigned system across the Fleet. The ISEA is responsible for reviewing change recommendations identified by the Sailors and SMEs. They are the signature authority to approve maintenance plan changes.

The last leg of a successful FLEETMER event is the work that NAVSEA04RM and naval sea logistics center (NSLC) provide in failure data analysis, package preparation, event logistics, facilitation, and post-event implementation. NAVSEA04RM facilitators provide review materials and failure information, reinforce the Backfit RCM process and prepare the smooth change package for NSLC implementation.

The FLEETMER process applies NAVSEA’s Backfit RCM methodology. This is basically a roadmap for analyzing procedures. Planned maintenance procedures are in place to prevent equipment failure. Backfit RCM determines if the tasks at hand actually restore and maintain equipment reliability by asking three questions. Firstly, does failure even occur? If it is determined that it will fail without maintenance, the next question to ask is, do the tasks performed actually restore or maintain original reliability? Finally, is the maintenance worth doing?

In some cases it may be more cost effective to run to failure and replace than to maintain. This last question considers safety and environmental consequences as well as operational performance and other failures. Once the requirement is validated by the rules of Backfit RCM, the maintenance procedure is assessed and corrected or updated.

Changes to maintenance requirement cards (MRCs) as a result of FLEETMERs are documented by technical feedback reports (TFBRs), while changes to intermediate- and depot-level tasks are tracked to completion by the appropriate maintenance support activity in coordination with the TWH/ISEA.

The implementation of recommended changes is reviewed every six months during the first two years following a FLEETMER, and a final status report of all implemented with estimated changes impacts is produced at five years.

The FLEETMER process can be found in Section II, Chapter 5 of the Ships' Maintenance and Material Management (3-M) Manual (NAVSEA Instruction 4790.8C).

How You Can Get Involved?

FLEETMER events are only as successful as the number and expertise of system knowledgeable participants. We are especially looking for “deckplate” Sailor participation from maintainers who are currently using the system under review. Deckplate maintainers are usually 1st and 2nd Class Petty Officers.

If you are a Sailor that wants to make an immediate impact on MRCs for your system, let your supervisor know that you would like to attend. Likewise, if you are a supervisor or manager, Sailor involvement can only happen when commands support their participation. Help the Navy improve maintenance by putting the right people in the right place at the right time.

FLEETMERs are announced by Naval message 45 to 60 days prior to the event. Navy 3-M Coordinators receive an email reminder from NSLC as well. Surface Warfare Magazine

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