USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- A maintenance and material management inspection (3MI) was conducted July 16-18 aboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
The 17 team members from Commander, Naval Air Forces 3M Team, concluded the inspection July 18. Nimitz performed well with an above average score of 90.92 percent. The 3MI ensured Nimitz personnel are conducting maintenance properly and in accordance with instructions.
"3MI is basically the 3M inspection that is required every 18 months by the Commander, Naval Air Forces, and they do it on board all carriers throughout the fleet," said Lt. Cmdr. Harold Honeycutt, the 3M officer aboard Nimitz. "It validates that the ship is conducting maintenance by the instruction the correct way and writing jobs, as they should, to maintain the ship. The ship has to last a long time, so if they do the maintenance properly the ship will meet or exceed its planned life."
While 3MIs are required every 18 months, this was the first inspection conducted utilizing the program SKED 3.2 as opposed to SKED 3.1. A relatively new version, Sked 3.2 tracks and schedules all of the ship's maintenance.
Although converting to a newer system was a challenge for both personnel aboard Nimitz and the inspection team, there are many benefits to SKED 3.2 that make it a much more efficient program than SKED 3.1, Honeycutt said.
"The great thing about SKED 3.2 is it details maintenance down to the component vice down to just the system," said Honeycutt. "The new system automatically schedules checks for you; both by periodicity and then for special evolutions. We can put out global triggers, which will be specific checks for whatever the event is; say prior to getting under way, after pulling into port, after a fire drill. We have triggers we can send out and it populates maintenance throughout different areas of the ship."
Learning the new program was a part of preparing for the inspection for everyone from the maintenance person conducting maintenance, up to the 3M Officer.
"I firmly believe SKED 3.2 is a great program," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Robert O'Mara, a combat systems work center supervisor. "As far as management goes, it's a lot better. It's a lot less paper work for work center supervisors and maintenance people."
In order to prepare for the 3MI, O'Mara and all other work center supervisors went through training to become efficient in SKED 3.2.
"It was a challenge at first, but now once you get everything programmed in there, it's a really easy program to use," said O'Mara.
Along with confirming the ship's ability to perform maintenance on its equipment, the 3MI results are a factor determining whether Nimitz receives the coveted Battle "E" award.
"The inspection affects us because if you do not pass the 3MI, that's one of the things that will prevent you from getting the Battle 'E' for the ship, so this is a big step in that," said Master Chief Hull Maintenance Technician David Conduff, the ship's 3M coordinator. "More importantly, what it really shows is how the ship is doing for its maintenance overall. As it's been said time and time again, we're supposed to keep this ship lasting up to 50 years. The only way to do that is by performing the proper maintenance on it."
While there were challenges along the way, Nimitz proved to be steadfast with its above-average score on the 3MI.
"We know for sure that we're in far better shape now than we were a year ago, even though there are things we need to improve on," said Honeycutt. "The goal is for this to be used as a starting point and for us to get better and better."
Nimitz Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.
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