Navy’s Regional Maintenance Centers Now Operational

Story Number: NNS050215-13Release Date: 2/15/2005 3:48:00 PM
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By Journalist 2nd Class Vanessa Wood, Naval Media Center FSD Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- With the stand-up of the U.S. Navy's seven Regional Maintenance Centers (RMC) completed in October and November 2004, major fleet concentration areas worldwide are now being serviced by the new commands.

The Atlantic Fleet RMCs are located in Norfolk, Va.; Mayport, Fla.; and Ingleside, Texas. The Pacific Fleet RMCs are located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; San Diego, Calif.; Yokosuka, Japan; and Bremerton, Wash.

These RMCs combine waterfront-resident activities involved in ship repair into a single, efficient maintenance enterprise. They will increase fleet readiness, enhance the ship maintenance process and reduce costs to the Navy.

"It's one-stop shopping," said Capt. Russell Tjetkema, commanding officer, Regional Maintenance Center, Norfolk. "The surface ships, the aircraft carriers and the submarines will have eventually one place to go for all of their maintenance. And we combine the fleet technical support activities into our own Sailor wrench-turning type of activities."

The main organizations integrated into the RMC construct are shipyards, ship repair facilities, repair supervisors of shipbuilding (SUPSHIPs), readiness support groups, shore intermediate maintenance activities (SIMAs), fleet technical support centers (FTSCs) and port engineers.

RMCs will help the Navy distribute the region's workload by using the combined command's strengths. "We are gaining the capability to do more maintenance than we ever were before. And Sailors, at least on the shore side of the house, are getting better trained to go out and do various levels of engineering and maintenance jobs," said Tjetkema.

Existing personnel will be the first in line for retraining to fill vacancies. The workforce will be shaped using Separation Incentive Pay/Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (SIP/VERA), and attrition should be achieved through retirement. Money will also be saved from focusing on fleet maintenance and modernization.

The common, Navywide RMC structure will enhance private sector/Navy ship maintenance community relationships. The maintenance command located in each major port provides a streamlined, consistent organization which will serve as the framework for implementation of the improved maintenance processes.

Areas such as work brokering and contracting are undergoing significant revision. Another innovation, inclusion of a multiship, multioption (MSMO) contractor representative in the RMC's ship maintenance teams, will increase information exchange and adaptation to workload requirements. This partnership will help the Navy save money by minimizing the amount of work being sent to the private sector during peak workload periods.

The Chief of Naval Operations' (CNO) vision, "Sea Power 21," stresses finding and using resources to restructure the Navy to replace Cold War-era systems with more modern ones. The CNO assigned key efforts to help, such as Sea Enterprise, with the objective of improving organizational alignments, refining requirements and reinvesting savings to buy the needed systems to transform the Navy. In his 2003 guidance paper "Achieving Sea Power 21," the CNO specifically tasked fleet commanders "to achieve efficiencies via organizational streamlining, technology insertion and divestment of non-core functions."

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