NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Members from Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) Waterfront Operations Department have had a continuous presence aboard USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) since it began repairs at Huntington Ingalls (HII) in Pascagoula, Mississippi, last year to ensure the ship is returned to the fleet mission-ready.
In June 2017, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer collided with the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal, leaving extensive damage to the starboard side above and below the waterline. The ship began an Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA), which included restoration, modification and modernization. The availability has been a total team effort with the three major regional maintenance centers (RMC) playing a role in planning and execution.
“We have project managers (PM) and shipbuilding specialists (SBS) from all three Regional Maintenance Centers (RMCs), Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC), Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) ,and MARMC taking lead in the availability,” said MARMC Project Manager (PM) Kenneth Millington.
Millington is one of several MARMC members who has volunteered to go to Mississippi and help lead the EDSRA, which includes more than 400 work items along with the collision repairs. Due to fiscal constraints, the volunteers can only serve in Pascagoula on a six-month assignment, making up a diverse, continuously rotating maintenance team.
“Being a project manager is like being in a brother and sisterhood,” said MARMC Project Manager Brian Campbell, who was assigned to Fitzgerald from February to August. “It’s a vocation, and all the tools that we use are the same across the board. We come from the same gene pool. We all speak the same language, so it makes the turnover process more fluent.”
“The first six months, every day was about learning,” said Campbell.
Fitzgerald is scheduled to end its availability in February 2020. Even after some members have returned to respective jobs, they are still paying attention to the progress in case they have to go back to help complete the mission.
“The job is not done. If I put my name on something, I don’t want it 50 percent, I want it through 100 percent and deliver the Navy a finished product so when she sails, she is ready and capable of meeting all her operational commitments,” said Millington.
For more news from Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/nssa/.