First in its Class
Nimitz paves way for NAMTS future
Undergoing extended maintenance in the shipyard can be a trying time for any ship and her crew. The long days, paired with dangerous, stressful working conditions can be a challenging combination.
Nimitz, currently in an extended planned incremental availability (EPIA), is the first afloat command Navy-wide to implement Navy Afloat Maintenance Training Strategy (NAMTS) for Sailors in and out of engineering ratings, earning them critical Naval Enlisted Classifications (NEC) that will allow them to make crucial shipboard repairs that would otherwise need to be contracted out.
"Commander, Naval Regional Maintenance Center and Carrier Team One thought it would be a great program to implement on Nimitz to leverage the carrier engineering maintenance assist team's training capabilities during EPIA," said Bill Edwards, the afloat NAMTS coordinator.
Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Joshua Jackson, command NAMTS job qualification requirement (JQR) coordinator, said usually when a Sailor enters into the NAMTS program, he or she is a Sailor in an engineering rating on shore duty at an Intermediate Maintenance Facility. However, on Nimitz, Sailors outside of engineering ratings are allowed to take part in the program. They are sent to teams that perform shipboard maintenance that will qualify them on NAMTS JQRs, similar to personnel qualification standards, but more stringent, mechanical and technical in nature that document a technician's proficiency.
The Sailors complete on-the-job training and the JQRs get signed off by qualified Sailors who already hold the NEC or Carrier Engineering Maintenance Assist Team (CEMAT) members. The Sailor then receives the NEC after passing a pretest, posttest and oral board.
There are currently 57 Nimitz Sailors enrolled in the NAMTS program, 17 of which have completed their JQRs and two have passed their post-test and are awaiting their oral board.
This is going to help the Navy as a whole in the long run. We will be able to have our Sailors fix our equipment instead of contracting everything out to other entities."
-MMCS Joshua Jackson
The NECs that the Sailors will receive are going to allow the ship to make repairs underway that would typically require the ship to pull into port to perform. This will have a substantial impact on the ship's ability to stay mission ready while forward deployed and maintain a more robust maintenance availability.
Sailors currently working on these NECs are broken down into one of five teams: watertight door, pump repair, valve repair, inside machinist and outside electrical.
A huge benefit of NAMTS is keeping Sailors on board the ship while receiving these NECs, because they are contributing to getting the ship ready to get out of the shipyard on time while receiving their training, instead of temporarily sending them off the ship to an advanced technical school where they could be gone for several months at a time.