SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The crew of USS Makin Island (LHD 8) successfully completed the arduous Maintenance and Material Management (3M) certification assessment ten weeks ahead of schedule.
"Our Sailors did an outstanding job," said Makin Island 3M Coordinator Master Chief Ship's Serviceman Ioapo "PT" Puaatuua, from San Diego. "They did what they do so well every day: conduct maintenance. The ownership of the crew was evident in their performance and each Sailor showed off their equipment with personal pride, proving this warship is ready to move forward."
The challenging 3M inspection was an all-hands evolution. For three days, inspectors assessed 321 maintenance spot checks and maintenance condition validation checks from more than 65 workcenters throughout the ship. Procedural compliance is the hallmark of a safe ship, and this in-depth inspection certified the crew's adherence to safe and proven procedures.
Typically, ships receive a 13-week gap between the administrative 1.3 assessment and the functional 1.4 inspection, in order to correct discrepancies and hone maintenance practices. In an effort to complete the certification inside the basic phase training cycle, Makin Island requested to challenge the certification 10 weeks early, leaving only two weeks between the 1.3 and 1.4 evaluations.
"We asked to move up the timeline because we were ready. Makin Island Sailors know their equipment, and they have been trained extensively in 3M. The inspection results clearly demonstrate that," said Puaatuua. "Training played a key role in preparation for this inspection. We prepared all of our Sailors on how to properly conduct spot checks, how to correctly maintain their equipment, and how to accurately manage their 3M program."
The 3M inspection is part of a training cycle that continuously monitors and trains Sailors on proper shipboard maintenance. The program plays a critical role in ensuring the ship meets its expected 40-year life span.
Makin Island Executive Officer Capt. Mark Melson leads the ship's 3M program.
"Our material condition is directly related to each Sailor's ability to conduct maintenance effectively and in accordance with the Navy's 3M system," said Melson. "We are not fully mission capable if we can not properly maintain our equipment and our systems. This crew proved once again that we are inspection ready!"
Puaatuua attributed the success of the inspection to the 3M training team, the departmental 3M assistants, work-center supervisors and the Sailors who performed spot checks during the inspection. The teamwork and over-the-shoulder training by ATG over the last few months were critical to Makin Island's success.
"Maintenance is an all hands effort from the wardroom, Chief's mess and especially the junior Sailors who are out there doing the maintenance everyday and performing the spotchecks," Puaatuua said. "I am extremely proud of this crew's ability to continuously surpass expectations and get the job done right the first time. Bravo Zulu, shipmates!"
Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Andrew Christian, from Washington, D.C., received a score of 100 percent on his spot check and credited his success to the training he received.
"We do a lot of hard work and we take pride in our ship," said Christian. "This inspection was an opportunity to showcase what we do every day and how well we do it."
Commanding Officer Capt. Jon P. Rodgers expressed his pride in the Makin Island crew achieving this milestone simultaneously with the Supply Management Certification and a surprise Pay and Personnel Audit in the same week.
"Despite our best efforts to alleviate simultaneous inspections, we fall short, and inevitably place a heavy burden on the backs of the crew. The winning attitude of these Sailors is impressive," Rogers said. "Family members of the Makin Island crew should be justifiably proud of their Sailors for these noteworthy achievements! Maintenance is very critical to this ship being ready to deploy and respond when necessary. This crew not only passed these three inspections, but scored impressively high given the additional burdens associated with the last maintenance period prior to deployment. This certification proves our crew has pure heart and ready to answer the nation's call whenever we are needed."
The Makin Island crew is undergoing the basic training cycle in preparation for a regularly scheduled deployment in fall 2016.
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