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.I almost titled this another "XXX goes Salamander" - as things that we have been talking about for years - and being told to shut up about because we "didn't get it" - are now coming to pass.
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 Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). “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.”
Read it all - but this from NAMTS News sounds like vindication.
While the changes were well-intended and the immediate results of the reorganization of the maintenance infrastructure and hands-on in-rate training created a short term cost savings for the Navy, the unintended consequences of not training Sailors to maintain or repair their shipboard equipment created a noticeable void in material readiness that degraded with time.Ya'll's can put the beer you owe us next to Mr. T's Haircut's seat for when he returns.
The commanders of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, concerned over this decline in readiness, commissioned a Fleet Review Panel in 2009 to look into how Surface Force readiness had changed and to make recommendations for improvements. The Panel report concluded there was no single specific cause or issue driving down Surface Forces readiness, but rather it was the result of many changes in policy and practices over time. The report served as a catalyst to focus senior Navy leadership's attention on the readiness issue and spawned a number of corrective actions.
I know this resonated with a lot of folks on the front porch active duty, civilian, retired and otherwise as many of you sent this to me.
Let's bask on another data point on the way back to sanity and recovery.
BTW - one reason I am not crowing is that this burden from the fever-addled minds of the Transformationalists was born by - and will be fixed on - the backs of Sailors. They suffered for the theories of lesser men - and they will rebuild and repair the damage done. They will, given time, get us back to square one. From there we can start to improve and make it better.
BZ to those who made it happen. Time to get to work, we have a mess to clean up.