USS Michigan (SSGN 727) recently completed an extended refit period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility that began before the COVID-19 pandemic struck all around the world.
Melissa Kittrell, assistant project superintendent on the USS Michigan project, Code 392, Operations Department, said Michigan entered dry dock July 2019, four months before the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in China. Despite the challenges the pandemic posed, the project team completed a wide variety of maintenance and modernization work on Michigan.
Kittrell said the team was tasked with a broad work package that ensured the crew and ship’s safe operation and it afforded the team the ability to exercise new tools and procedures.
“We were the first availability to try out new equipment developed by (Naval Undersea Warfare Center) Keyport,” said Kittrell. “This allowed the project to more efficiently conduct some repair work, and saved two weeks to the project timeline.”
Kittrell said it was a total team effort to accomplish the amount of work completed, despite the pandemic.
“The genuine applause goes to the zone managers, supervisors, mechanics, field office engineers, test houses and other support team members who never gave up,” she said. “They continued to plow through each obstacle and faced the next challenge with professionalism and gusto and they deserve every bit of recognition for a job well done.”
“I want to give a special shout out to the Shop 38 Engine Room crew under the leadership of supervisor Josh Fernandez for their dedication,” she continued. “They helped Ship’s Force with last-minute issues to get them underway. This is just one example of this crew going above and beyond the call of duty and showing what a great maintenance provider Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility is.”