USS Carl Vinson Returns to Its Homeport

USS Carl Vinson Returns to Its Homeport

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) returned to its homeport, Naval Air Station North Island, after becoming the first aircraft carrier in the fleet to complete a Mid-Cycle Material Assessment (MCMA), May 21.

“No one has actually done this before,” said Strike Operations Officer Cmdr. Bennet Goff. “Given Carl Vinson’s excellent maintenance record and the ability to execute the recent Planned Incremental Availability(PIA), it makes us the ideal candidate to be the first ship to participate in the MCMA.”

“MCMA is a program intended to assess the material condition of a ship between Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) inspection cycles,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Payne, Carl Vinson’s damage control assistant.

The INSURV program was established to ensure the fleet’s material readiness meets all maintenance standards and supports operational readiness. INSURV inspections take place every 30 months.

In the past, INSURV inspectors have found longer intervals between inspections resulted in a higher number of maintenance problems. MCMA was created as a solution to reduce discrepancies and increase efficiency.

This particular MCMA monitored the ship’s performance in several functional areas.

Over the course of 30 hours, Carl Vinson endured close scrutiny of its equipment by a team of more than 30 inspectors composed of civilians, officers, and chief petty officers.

The areas evaluated during Carl Vinson’s MCMA included: propulsion, auxiliary equipment, deck equipment, damage control, combat systems, aviation equipment and occupational health and safety.

The lessons learned from Carl Vinson’s inspection will be used to improve the structure and expectations for MCMAs of other aircraft carriers. The next aircraft carrier scheduled for MCMA is the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

“Carl Vinson has shown us top notch hospitality and top notch cooperation,” said Bryan Peters, MCMA coordinator. “Her crew has worked diligently to be helpful and make sure this pilot program is successful and works to the betterment of the Navy.”

A ship’s maintenance standards are set by the planned maintenance schedule (PMS) under the ship’s maintenance and material management (3M) program, which comprises the routine maintenance conducted on material and equipment by each department aboard the ship.

For example, when inspecting the ship’s list control system – the system that helps maintain lateral stability of the ship – MCMA personnel tested the whole system and its components. The valves, pipes and pumps were each tested to ensure the system moves water at the correct pressure and rate.

“MCMA is meant to be a ‘come as you are’ process,” said Payne. “If maintenance is being performed routinely, then issues should already be identified and documented for correction beforehand, because the inspection follows PMS guidelines.”

Press Release, May 24, 2013; Image: US Navy