Truman Sailors Save Money in the Shipyard

Story Number: NNS061012-11Release Date: 10/12/2006 4:35:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Megan Parfitt, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) saved $451,770 during her Docked Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) period by using Harry S. Truman Sailors instead of Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) workers for shipboard lagging jobs.

Lagging is a fiberglass material applied to chill water pipes to prevent condensation and insulate steam pipes to keep Sailors from burning themselves, as well as to prevent a heat stress environment. It is also applied to the overheads and bulkheads throughout the ship as sound insulation.

"There is lagging everywhere throughout the ship," said Assistant Maintenance Manager, Lt. Doug Stanley. "You can walk into any space and find lagging."

Over time, lagging on the ship needs to be replaced due to normal wear and tear, or applied to piping where it has been replaced or newly installed.

The 20-person lagging team, made up of Sailors from various departments, completed 332 lagging jobs for a total of 8,883 man-hours. The cost of one of these Sailors lagging for an 8-hour day is $150. The same price to have a NNSY worker do the job is $557 per day.

"They (NNSY workers) are the experts, but as far as the basic lagging jobs, their (Harry S. Truman lagging team) work is top notch," said Harry S. Truman Lagging Team Leading Chief Petty Officer, Chief Operations Specialist (SW) Richard Sonnenberg.

To ensure the Harry S. Truman lagging team performed the work professionally, they went to a two-week Shipyard Insulators Course taught by NNSY.

"It (lagging) doesn't take a rocket scientist to do, but it's meticulous and tedious to get into the tight places and do a professional job," said Harry S. Truman's Lagging Team Leading Petty Officer, Air Traffic Controller 1st Class (AW/SW) Robert Harris.

Although the team was not trained to do extremely difficult lagging jobs, the work they completed was high quality.

"I can say with confidence these 20 people can take a basic lagging job and do it flawlessly," said Sonnenberg.

Sonnenberg believes one of the reasons the team did such great work is because of their positive attitudes toward their work.

"The one noticeable attribute of these 20 people is they all took pride in doing a good job the first time so they wouldn't have to go back and do it again," said Sonnenberg.

Throughout the DPIA period, more and more of the team's labor could be seen throughout the ship and the flawless work was definitely noticed.

"There were some good folks on [the lagging team] that learned the trade," said Stanley. "I walked around and inspected some of the spaces and work that was done, and it absolutely looked like it was done by a professional grade insulator."

That, along with the nearly half a million dollars saved by Harry S. Truman's lagging team, is just another reason they can be proud of the work they did while temporarily assigned to this small but vitally important DPIA team.

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