SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) Sailors worked side-by-side with the Sailors aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) to prepare for the ship's Damage Control Material Assessment (DCMA) Feb. 13-March 3 and March 20-24 in San Diego.
SWRMC Sailors helped complete a walkthrough of the engineering spaces to identify discrepancies and troubleshoot known discrepancies.
The DCMA is a critical assessment during the ship's maintenance availability, and is required prior to conducting Light-Off Assessment (LOA). During DCMA, all safety features related to damage control and firefighting equipment are inspected.
Essex's Immediate Supervisor in Charge (ISIC), Commander, Amphibious Squadron One (COMPHIBRON ONE), requested troubleshooting and repair assistance from SWRMC as the ship prepared for this significant milestone.
SWRMC assembled a team -- Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class (IC1) Paul Kelly; Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class (IC2) William Morris; IC2 Labradford Eagledeer, IC2 Julia Contreras; Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class (IC3) Jordan Falkosky; Interior Communications Electrician Seaman (ICSN) Lorena Villafranco; and Electricians' Mate 1st Class (EM1) Kenneth Roberts -- to provide critical assistance through identifying, troubleshooting and repairing electrical and interior communication issues throughout the engineering spaces.
While aboard Essex, the team remedied several additional issues and trained ship's force to ensure they are capable of repairing casualties in the future.
"SWRMC's Sailors provided outstanding, top-notch support to ship's force on board the Essex," said USS Essex's Command Master Chief Gabriel Sinner. "In addition to the technical support provided, IC1 Kelly and his team provided training to ship's force junior Interior Communications Electricians on board."
Combat systems product family manager, Matt Hutnick said, "The experience and technical expertise of our SWRMC Sailors was vital to their ability to work through a myriad of electrical and interior communication issues on board Essex. Additionally, the hands-on training they provided Essex Sailors will ensure these fleet technicians are prepared to address similar issues while out to sea due to their increased rating and equipment level of knowledge. Our Sailors put together a team to go out there and they -- outside of their normal scope of work -- devoted four weeks to preparing to get the ship inspection ready."
One of SWRMC's significant accomplishments with the Essex repairs was Parasense upgrade, a refrigerant leak monitor system.
"IC2 Morris inspected the system and identified an outdated system was installed vice the updated NAVSEA [Naval Sea Systems Command] new detection system," said Interior Communications Senior Chief (ICCS) Roberto Valadez, the combat systems product family's leading chief at SWRMC. "IC2 Morris discussed this discrepancy with the SWRMC chain of command, he got the casualty reports, fired up the messages, letting everyone know - hey, we need to get this piece of equipment up to date. The good thing is that the ship was able to acquire and install the new and improved monitoring systems; [the team] got in contact with the engineers, and they are coming in to install the new system, that way, all seven of them will be up and running for inspection."
Falkosky and Villafranco rewired the sound powered communication systems in the main engineering spaces. "In an engineering plant, it is very important for the engineers to have communication from the main booth to the upper level and lower level of the engineering spaces. Especially being on a steam propulsion ship, there is a greater possibility of problems occurring especially with steam outages or other issues that could hurt - or even kill - someone," said Valadez.
Eagledeer and Contreras were in damage control (DC) central working on the alarm panels that monitor flooding, fire, sprinkler and intrusion alarms throughout the ship. They repaired over 30 IC/SM alarm panels, which include close to 250 individual modules.
Roberts led the Ship's Force electricians to replace and repair motors and motor controllers and troubleshoot and rewire lighting in the distribution panel to restore the affected lights in the repair lockers. In the aft main machinery room, the electricians discovered a halon ground that inhibits safe operations of the main spaces, and they were able to clean the problem and restore the halon system. Roberts also spent time training the ships' force while completing repairs.
Valadez attributed the success of the Sailors to their SWRMC training, past experience across various ship platforms, as well as past experience on a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
"They came on board knowing the ins and outs of the ships and systems," said Valadez. "A lot of these problems they had encountered before, so they knew where the problems could be and how to fix them."
The SWRMC Sailors' work on Essex represented SWMRC's mission to provide superior ship maintenance, modernization, technical support and training for the Pacific Fleet.
For more information on SWRMC please visit http://www.swrmc.navy.mil/.
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