Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility completed a six-month Planned Incremental Availability on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Dec. 4, 2022, four days ahead of schedule.

Vinson’s successful PIA was a joint effort spread among PSNS & IMF personnel, contractors, Ship’s Force and Southwest Regional Maintenance Center workers. The team’s success contributed directly to national defense.

“Vinson’s ability to complete our availability period early is a huge win for the ship, the shipyard, the Navy, and the American people,” said Capt. P. Scott Miller, Vinson’s commanding officer. “This accomplishment allows us to return to operational readiness and to get back to supporting and defending our nation.”

According to Shane Browning, deputy project superintendent, the project team was able to get a one-month early start on the project, with the entire availability completed at pier Juliet, at Naval Air Station North Island, California.

Browning said the project included about 211,000 work-days of labor, and cost about $173 million dollars. The final numbers may be adjusted as all the data is calculated.

During PIA, testing and repairs focused on all areas of the ship to include propulsion plants, habitability spaces, the flight deck, navigation, communications, radars, weapons, and information systems.

“This PIA was a much needed maintenance period to repair critical equipment onboard and install new systems and upgrades to our current configuration after a rigorous Western Pacific deployment,” said Cmdr. David Tirey, Vinson’s chief engineer. “PIAs are critical to a ship’s overall health so we can continue to operate the ship for the planned 50-year lifecycle and maintain an operational readiness guaranteeing Carl Vinson is always mission ready.”

According to Cmdr. Justin Hlavin, military deputy project superintendent, there was a very successful teaming among PSNS & IMF workers, contractors and Ship’s Force.

“Starting all the way back during the planning process … Ship’s Force actively participated and engaged the project at all levels,” Hlavin said. “Another great teaming event was the 50-percent review, both with the formal presentation to Navy leadership and the fun picnic that the ship’s force supply department provided. All levels of their command were aligned and engaged with the availability; working through all issues jointly to come up with solutions.”

Hlavin also credited the Temporary Service Coordinator for helping ensure compliance with the Naval Sea System Command’s Industrial Ship Safety Manual for Fire Prevention and Response requirements. The manual, also called the “8010,” ensures ships undergoing maintenance have sufficient firefighting and prevention measures in place including the Temporary Services Isolation List.

Kendall Carlson, project superintendent, said he is proud of how the entire team worked together to get the project done on time and to standard.

“The Project Team rose to the challenges encountered and swiftly came up with solutions to continue to move forward,” Carlson said. “Our folks took the time to assist any team member in need, whether it was a Ship’s Force member, a contractor or a peer. By building relationships amongst private sector maintenance providers and Ship’s Force, the team was able to hold each other accountable in reaching our goal of delivering Vinson early.”

Lessons learned and process improvements from previous availabilities also helped contribute to the success of this availability, according to Mike McDonald, deputy test engineer, Code 2340, Nuclear Test Engineering Division.

The transfer of operational control of ventilation system components to Code 2340 “significantly improved the efficiency of required system work and testing. This process was estimated to save more than 70 combined work-days of labor for shipyard and Ship’s Force personnel,” said McDonald.

Rex Landaker, assistant project engineering and planning manager, Code 312, said the team’s ability to problem solve contributed to the success of the project.

“The Vinson team never let any obstacle be a reason they couldn’t continue to move forward,” Landaker said. “Whenever adversity presented itself, the team always came together and quickly developed a plan to continue executing through innovation and determination.”