"Ike" eBusiness Saves Navy Time and Money

Story Number: NNS031208-09Release Date: 12/8/2003 9:00:00 PM
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By Journalist Seaman Michael Perez, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- There are not many Sailors who like spending countless hours typing and re-typing data into spreadsheets. Many would chooose to actually do the work, rather than type its description into a database.

Aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), a group of Sailors got together to solve this problem, which, in turn, will save time and money for the Navy. Nov. 24, Ike launched RCOHIMS (Refueling Complex Overhaul Integrated Management Software), which is a database program that can gather data from a number of other different types of databases located in the shipyard environment.

According to Lt. Cmdr. Alan Kolackovsky, who has a background in information technology, the database will help manage manpower and save money because the work can be sent directly to a Sailor's desktop. With the program completely intact, it is estimated to save approximately $50 million over a two-and-half-year shipyard period.

Since entering the yards, Ike has been coordinating shipyard jobs between ship's personnel and civilian contractors. Both groups use different programs to keep track of their work. Traditionally, a ship would print out a huge list of jobs and meet with the contractors to check and make sure the data matched up on both lists. Then each group would go back and update their information. This process actually kept the databases out of date and was very time consuming.

Cmdr. Timothy Veschio, air operations officer and ship force work package coordinator, said the process was inefficient, since there were more than 16,000 jobs that needed to be completed on the ship throughout the Refueling Complex Overhaul period. The file, which was essentially a single spreadsheet, was so large that it took 30 minutes to save.

"'There has to be a better way,' I thought," said Veschio. "If we were to do it on a database, it would be quicker."

A group of Ike Sailors with backgrounds in information technology and shipyard work attended a local Navy eBusiness Operations Office event. The group decided the best option was to hire a computer programmer to build a database program that could read all the different databases and convert them into one simple Web-based database.

The software was completed by AMSEC, and the ship went into the testing phase. With help from several Sailors aboard Ike, the software was integrated onto the Intranet.

"It's a solution to managing the way we keep track of ship force work in the shipyard," said Veschio. "We are very happy with the results of the program. The program, however, is still a work in progress, as it can be added to and refined."

Although there are many goals associated with this software, there seems to be one common goal for the group. They would like to see this program used to help the entire fleet when ships come into the yards in the future. There are already proposals to get the program integrated aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) when they enter the shipyard for their own RCOH.

"I wanted to make a change, because our technology was still in the dark ages," said Lt. Kurt Rohlmeier, former assistant habitability officer. "My goal is to make the Navy better for all Sailors."

For related news, visit the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn69.

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