USS Harry S. Truman’s AIMD Surpasses Fleet Rivals in Aviation Maintenance Inspection
Sailors assigned to the aircraft intermediate maintenance department (AIMD) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) surpassed all others in the fleet in their Aviation Maintenance Inspection (AMI), Jan. 14.
During the biannual, one-day inspection, 10 individuals from the Aviation Maintenance Management Team (AMMT), representing Commander, Naval Air Forces (COMNAVAIRFOR), graded individual aircraft maintenance programs aboard Truman on a scale ranging from ‘on-track’, ‘needs more attention’ to ‘off-track’ (when significant issues are present within a program).
All 44 programs within Truman’s AIMD received a grade of ‘on-track’ in a showing considered “unprecedented and unbelievable” by the AMMT’s lead inspector, Lt. Cmdr. Don Moore.
Truman’s maintenance officer, Cmdr. Art Harvey, said the AMI is designed to inspect a variety of AIMD’s processes to determine whether or not Sailors are working in line with current Navy directives and policies.
According to AIMD’s quality assurance officer, Lt. Rick Boswell, these directives included proper maintenance, safety, and standardization within AIMD’s multiple divisions.
“It all boils down to whether or not we are fixing aircraft systems properly, by the book,” said Boswell. “Aviation is inherently dangerous, and everything that we do has some sort of safety contingency and procedure. But it’s not just about fixing parts, it’s also about the safety of our Sailors who conduct the maintenance.”
Harvey attributed careful execution and planning by AIMD’s leadership, hard work and preparation from all Sailors within the department as key factors that contributed to the success of the inspection.
“The inspectors recognized our Sailors’ good work and the amount of time put in to get the department ready for the inspection,” said Harvey. “From processes to material conditions, practical assessments that tested the Sailors, to emergency maintenance procedures and all of the administration work involved in AIMD, Truman reset the bar as the top carrier for this inspection and reestablished our excellent record from two-and-a-half years ago.”
Though certain AMMT members have conducted more than 100 inspections in their careers, Harvey said Truman’s AMI was the first perfect audit any had ever conducted.
“Of course there are always things that we will have to work on, but the inspection team recognized that all of our programs were on track,” said Harvey. “The average across the Navy is six ‘needs more attention’ grades and six ‘off-track’ scores. We had 44 out of 44 programs labeled satisfactory, truly a perfect score across the board.”
AIMD’s leading chief petty officer, Master Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman (AW/SW) Martin Snowden, said that in his 29 years of service, he never expected to achieve a perfect AMI.
“Though we had very little time to prepare between the end of Truman’s shipyard period and all of the preparations that were being made for Truman’s upcoming deployment, our Sailors provided incredible effort to get our programs up to standards,” said Snowden. “I’m not sure if our senior leaders will ever see a result like this again. It is truly historic.”
Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class (AW/SW) Eddie Coley, leading petty officer for AIMD’s IM4 division aviation support equipment logs and records, said excelling in the inspection of life-critical maintenance and procedures within AIMD was his personal “high-point” during the AMI.
“Squadron and ship Sailors trust their lives to our critical equipment, and they need to have peace of mind that it is all being properly maintained,” said Coley. “I take pride in my Sailors and I will keep pushing for great work like this as we continue moving toward deployment.”
Though his Sailors have set the bar for excellence throughout the fleet, Coley emphasizes humility to his Sailors after such an accomplishment.
“We can all feel happy about this result, but it can’t get to a point where we feel we are so good we don’t need to double check ourselves, or become complacent,” said Coley. “This inspection was a great opportunity to maintain our excellence and continue to train to keep the standard up.”
Snowden provided similar wisdom to AIMD as a whole.
“We’ve won the Superbowl, but now we have to get to work for the next season,” he said.
Naval Today Staff, January 21, 2013; Image: US Navy