Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
Tailored for Relief
Future Changes in Maintenance System
Designed to Reduce Burden on Sailors

Okay, we know the Navy's planned maintenance system (PMS) is vital for keeping our ships afloat. However, it can also cause a huge administrative burden on sailors. Anything that can be done to alleviate this burden is going to be greatly appreciated by the men and women in uniform. That’s why the tailored force revision (TFR), was designed to allow work center supervisors (WCS) more time to focus on performing maintenance and less administrative time processing PMS changes. Each one is jam-packed with as much helpful, burden reducing data as possible! Let’s look at why a TFR is so necessary in today’s Navy.

Today, PMS sends revised requirements to each work center through periodic force revisions (FR). The burden is placed on the WCSs to read through these revisions and interpret the content. It takes an average of 806 man-hours per ship for work center supervisors to perform all the steps required to implement an FR for each quarter. Everyone would agree, sailors should spend more time performing maintenance than doing paperwork!

One of the biggest burdens is all the guesswork left to the Sailor. Hundreds of independent decisions must be made regarding the following 5 questions:

  • What equipment is covered by this MIP?
  • How many pieces of equipment do I have?
  • What do each of the scheduling aids mean?
  • How do they affect my work center?
  • Does this MIP cover a System, Subsystem, or Equipment level item?

Material index page (MIP) scheduling aids are the primary mechanism for linking maintenance requirement cards (MRCs) to equipment and they are often difficult to follow and easy to misinterpret.

For example, coverage for the guided missile launching system (GMLS) is provided on MIP 7211/003. The following scheduling aid guidance is provided for MRC applicability:

A. Scheduling Aid 21. MK 29 MOD 3 - MRC M-1 (FVGR), S-7R (FVHA), S-9R (FVGX), R-OT-1 (FVJC) is for MOD 10/11 only. MK 29 MOD 4 configurations omit these MRCs.

B. Scheduling Aid 22. MK 29 MOD 4 - MRC M-2 (FVQB), S-8R (FVPK), S-10R (FVPP) is for MOD 12/13 only. MK 29 MOD 3 configurations omit these MRCs.

As a WCS, do you know if you chose the right scheduling aid to follow? Perhaps, the GMLS Mod 3 looks physically identical to the GMLS Mod 4. Individual interpretations of scheduling aids result in inconsistent scheduling across ship classes with the same equipment configuration. To further complicate matters, the Chain of Command has no visibility on schedules of other ships within the same class. This makes it difficult to identify and correct scheduling errors. TFR was developed to begin solving these problems.


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Saving Time:

The TFR project was started in 2010 by the U.S. Naval Surface Force and is now sustained by Naval Sea Systems Command. Currently released semiannually to surface ships only, TFR is a maintenance expert ashore assisting a WCS with the administration of their FRs. WCSs are provided, in conjunction with the standard FR, a separate tailored FR package that contains pre-processed FR data to import into SKED. It also comes with an applied list of effected pages (LOEP) report that shows document and schedule changes. The LOEP also flags inconsistent items for review. In addition, the TFR comes with summary reports highlighting anomalies for the WCS and 3MC.

This initial shift of some of the administrative burden off the WCS was positively received by the fleet.

The ultimate goals for the TFR are to provide reduced administrative burdens on sailors, improve scheduling accuracy and consistency, link PMS to configuration and improve information for decision makers. By incorporating other TFR tools like Snapshot, PMS Change Indicators and eventually equipment maintenance plans (EMP), TFRs can not only meet but exceed these goals.

Visibility Ashore:

Snapshot is a one-stop-shop PMS data research tool. What’s great about Snapshot is it provides shore-based analysts and leadership a tool to research how PMS is being scheduled between ships within the same class. Released quarterly to show current schedules and the latest Force Revision, Snapshot lets you quickly:

  • See which ships are using a particular MIP.
  • View entire classes of ships to compare differences in LOEPs and schedules.
  • Look up general information about multiple ships or specific equipment details for one ship.

Snapshot is intuitive, and like today’s smartphones, it doesn’t come with training or a user manual. It’s that easy to use!

Removing Guesswork:

PMS Change Indicators appeared in 2013 and are used to highlight changes on MIP and MRC documents since the last FR, thus eliminating the need to print and manually compare old documents with new documents. Additionally, TFR Templates reduce the ambiguity associated with MIP and MRC applicability by grouping MRCs into categorized System, Subsystem, and Equipment groupings. Instead of sailors interpreting the scheduling aids to determine which MRCs are applicable to their system, TFR experts ashore analyze MIPs and build Equipment Maintenance Plans specifically for their ship and system.

Furthermore, TFR templates will include additional notes and comments to help sailors understand, in layman’s terms, how the MIP applies to their equipment and configuration. Imagine if 70% of your FR was done for you prior to receiving the new FR and all you had to do was verify. That’s our vision! While still a tool that is evolving, TFR Templates are the first step in building EMPs ashore and pushing them to the Fleet.


Once MIPs have been standardized through EMPs and tied to configuration, they can be applied consistently throughout the fleet. EMPs will contain PMS schedule nomenclature, MRC assignments and equipment quantities. When Sailors apply EMPs to their SKED schedules, it will standardize maintenance for that system across the Class.

The Future:

The topics discussed so far all lead to the future of PMS, a six year project currently in motion that will re-imagine and modernize PMS. In the future, changes to maintenance requirements will be pushed out electronically through “continuous distribution.” This is basically providing the most up-to-date information available to the ship. SKED will update automatically and notify the supervisor that a PMS change has been received from shore and implemented. If the PMS changes for a type of equipment, the EMP is updated and it automatically updates the PMS schedules throughout the fleet. Change it for one – change it for all!

ETA for EMPs:

Beginning in April 2015, EMPs for two DDG 51 Class ships, USS Kidd (DDG 100) and USS Ramage (DDG 61), were built as a “Proof of Concept” for testing. This helped to refine the process for implementing EMPs to correct SKED schedule discrepancies while retaining PMS completion history. Lessons learned were incorporated into the EMP process and the team is currently working on completing EMPs for the entire DDG 51 Class.

TFR inspired EMPs are the first step towards PMS schedules being generated ashore. This shift in burden from the Sailor to the shore will greatly reduce administrative action required at the deck plate while increasing the accuracy of schedules across ship class and configurations. The result is less paperwork for the Sailor and consistent PMS scheduling across the fleet.

We hope you are as excited as we are! For more information, go to our “Reinvigorate PMS” milBook place on You can also provide feedback or request information by sending an email to Surface Warfare Magazine

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