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ESGIMA Capabilities Maintain Mission Readiness for Kearsarge Strike Group

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050607-07
Release Date: 6/8/2005 12:29:00 AM

By Senior Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Dave Nagle, USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

PERSIAN GULF (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) is demonstrating its ability to sustain its mission readiness, as well as the mission readiness of the entire Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), through its role as an Expeditionary Strike Group Intermediate Maintenance Activity (ESGIMA).

The mission of the ESGIMA is to maximize the Expeditionary Strike Group's ability to correct casualty reports or prevent equipment failures that will result in a CASREP (casualty report) while deployed, at sea or away from regular support facilities.

“The Strike Group's ability to fix itself is one of the keys to mission readiness,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Donnell, Kearsarge’s chief engineer. “Any time you have to wait for a technician or component, material readiness is degraded and your overall combat readiness is affected. Having repair capabilities within the Strike Group trims the timeline, resulting in a higher state of material readiness for the group.”

Kearsarge, which deployed March 25 and is currently on station in the Persian Gulf conducting Maritime Security Operations, has experienced much success as an ESGIMA, avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in maintenance costs, saving countless man-hours in labor and maintaining a high state of mission readiness.

Kearsarge’s Engineering and Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Departments (AIMD) provide Intermediate Maintenence Activity capability to Kearsarge, as well as the other ESG ships, although each ship in the ESG is identified with some sort of baseline capability that can benefit the entire ESG.

Kearsarge’s AIMD has provided a number of support items to the ESG, including manufacturing gun covers for USS Normandy (CG 60), manufacturing hydraulic lines for embarked landing craft air cushion aboard USS Ashland (LSD 48), providing on-site technical support aboard USS Kauffman (FFG 59), conducting a baseline audit and inspection and helping to establish a tool control program aboard USS Ponce (LPD 15).

Kearsarge also recently sent a Marine AIMD flight equipment technician to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) to assist with equipment testing and to receive hands-on experience.

Kearsarge’s Engineering Department has also provided extensive support, notably in the Motor Rewind Shop. Donnell cited the ship’s motor rewind work as an example of the cost avoidance realized by ESGIMA capabilities.

“Each motor on average costs the government between $5,000-$10,000 to re-wind,” he said. “On board, I can usually do a motor re-wind for about $1,000. Any time we can do the job ourselves, it saves maintenance funds.”

While a significant amount of support has been provided to other ships, Donnell emphasized that the scope of the ESGIMA is not limited to that.

“The majority of work has been supporting Kearsarge, the Marines and embarked staff,” he said. “If the Motor Rewind Shop isn't doing a motor for the Strike Group, then it has one in production for Kearsarge. The Machine Shop runs pretty much around the clock, manufacturing parts, engraving, and providing other machine shop services. The Weld Shop is another non-stop production area, too.”

Donnell estimated that the Engineering IMA capabilities have generated a cost avoidance of nearly $700,000 so far during this deployment.

In addition, Kearsarge’s Micro-Miniature (2M) Repair shop, which repairs circuit cards aboard ship, saved more than $108,000 in the second quarter of fiscal year 2005 and ranked number six in the top 10 surface ships in the Atlantic Fleet for 2M cost avoidance.

However, Donnell quickly pointed out that IMA capability is more than just saving money.

“Here on Kearsarge, we try not to think of it as the number of jobs, money saved or manhours applied, but rather how best can we serve our sister ships, ourselves, and maintain full mission readiness,” he said. “In addition, any time you can give a Sailor some extra training and experience, both the Sailor and the Navy benefit.”


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