February 3, 2017 – Sailors assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA6) began revving up for its first Mid-Cycle Inspection (MCI) March 14-17 in preparation for deployment later this year.
MCI is a four-day readiness inspection which takes place every 2 1/2 years. The inspection is set in place to bridge the gap between Board of Inspection and Survey (INSERV) and is used to inspect and assess the material condition of a ship, as well as ensure the ship will last its full life cycle.
“This affects 100 percent of the ship,” said America’s Main Propulsion Assistant and MCI Coordinator, Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Bacon. “It requires the entire ship’s force to be engaged and make sure that we maintain a high-level material condition.”
To help maintain that high level of material condition, each department is responsible for developing and practicing their own procedures which will demonstrate the ship’s readiness to the inspectors. This process can be time consuming, but the end result is a ship with fully-functional capabilities and is ready for the crew.
“These inspections are used to make sure the equipment we have on board is working as designed,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Patrick Hinton, assigned to America’s engineering department. “Our equipment is supposed to do a specific job in a specific way, and the inspectors are there to make sure they do just that.”
A few things the inspectors look for are cleanliness and the spaces are in good working condition. The Marines assigned to America have spaces aboard the ship which must also meet the MCI standard.
“Our biggest concern is making sure the troop spaces on board the ship are up to habitability standards,” said America’s Combat Cargo Assistant, Gunnery Sgt. Steven Sullivan. “We want to make sure all the linen is in place, all the racks are working correctly, and that the berthing is ready to go when the Marines move on board for America’s maiden deployment.”
With the “blue and green” team working together, inspections like MCI will prove beneficial for both present and future operations.
“Like most inspections, this a team sport,” said Bacon. “It’s important that all departments get engaged and that we are ready to support each other, and show that America is ready to go to sea and to war.”
America is currently underway conducting routine operations in preparation for deployment later this year.