November 18, 2020 – Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility’s (PHNSY & IMF) Fleet Maintenance Repair (FMR) team provided outstanding support on USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) emergent repairs while the ship remained in a pre-deployment COVID-19 sequestration state. The leadership and urgency from the deckplate to the project leaders ensured John Paul Jones met its critical national tasking and continued the shipyard’s Nō Ka ‘Oi, or “of the best,” legacy.
On Aug. 24 ahead of a regularly scheduled deployment, John Paul Jones encountered a new maintenance issue that required immediate attention. To make executing the required repair more challenging, the ship had been observing pre-deployment protocols to ensure a clean, COVID-19-free crew ahead of the deployment.
The FMR project team immediately prepared to support the new repair in addition to other maintenance work already underway. The next morning, Rich Ulmer, FMR assistant project superintendent, and Lance Coverdill, project superintendent, conducted an initial ship check to evaluate the situation.
Understanding the urgency, FMR had a tentative plan to address required repair 48 hours after initial notification. The FMR team made John Paul Jones a top-priority job so that all shops and codes could align to its significance and facilitate repairs more quickly.
The challenges of not having material available and not having completed a similar repair in recent history required an estimated completion date of Sept. 14. FMR assistant project superintendent Alan Kahana and zone manager Chris Burner were challenged to complete the job as quickly as possible to allow John Paul Jones to meet its scheduled tasking.
With ever-increasing urgency, shipyard shops worked diligently to shorten the required work time and gain proficiencies wherever possible. Everyone on the team from engineers to deckplate mechanics looked for ways they could shorten the schedule.
Commander, Naval Regional Maintenance Center and Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific challenged the shipyard to accelerate the initial project completion timeline to Sept. 9. Shipyard Commander Capt. Greg Burton then urged the team to complete repairs by Sept. 4, a challenge quickly accepted by the FMR project team.
Through aggressive teamwork, the project team exceeded all expectations by completing repairs a day early on Sept. 3, almost two weeks ahead of the original estimated completion date. The timely completion of these critical repairs allowed John Paul Jones to finish its preparations and meet its scheduled tasking. The FMR project team efforts demonstrated that PHNSY & IMF still embodies the can-do attitude demonstrated when the workforce completed three months of estimated repairs on USS Yorktown (CV-5) in 72 hours during World War II.