MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy's Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC) formally re-established its Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) at Naval Station Mayport, June 28, providing the fleet with a renewed capability to train Mayport-based surface ship crews to perform shipboard maintenance and repairs.
In the past, IMAs served as a critical component of the training pipeline for fleet Sailors. In recent years, however, funding cuts led to the downsizing of these facilities. Re-establishing the intermediate maintenance activity in Mayport reflects the Navy's commitment to a 'back-to-basics' approach to shipboard material readiness.
"This is not just about a ceremony, but rather we are embarking on an important mission that recognizes the significant revolution that has happened in how the Navy views surface ship maintenance," said Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy. "In a budget-constrained environment, the fleet has supported adding a total of 50 additional skilled personnel to this activity. By 2012, we will add another 85 military and civilian. We are expanding and bringing back the needed facilities to properly support the needs of the fleet."
While training at an IMA, Sailors will receive on-the-job training within five primary product families, each of which will provide rating-specific training for Sailors. This training will be in such areas as corrosion control, engine maintenance, component machining and combat systems repairs.
In addition to the invaluable hands-on training provided to Sailors, they will also have the opportunity to participate in the Navy Afloat Maintenance Training Strategy program, which provides the means for Sailors in these ratings to achieve journeyman-level certification in these skills during their assignment to IMAs.
"This training will be invaluable to [Sailors] during your career and in your later post-Navy careers," said McCoy while addressing Sailors assigned to the command.
Over the past decade, substantial fiscal constraints forced a reduction in ship manning and in surface ship support maintenance activities ashore. While the immediate results of restructuring created a cost savings for the Navy that proved favorable, the longer-term, unintended consequence of not training Sailors to maintain and repair shipboard equipment created a significant material readiness void.
Navy leaders recognized the void, and have since undertaken several initiatives designed to rebuild resources, and positively impact quality maintenance and modernization practices across the Navy's RMCs. One of these initiatives is the re-establishment of IMAs.
"Our senior Navy leadership, from the CNO, to the fleet commanders and NAVSEA have made the re-establishment of our IMAs possible, and their investment in the surface ship maintenance initiatives and resources the Navy requires to properly sustain our ships and train our fleet Sailors has been vital," said Rear Adm. David Gale, commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center. "With their support, we are now uniquely positioned to ensure that the material readiness of today's, and tomorrow's, fleet is sustained."
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.