The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


May 2002 Excerpt

All Systems Go Aboard USS Kennedy—SSES Plays a Part



By Leslie Spaulding and Key USS Kennedy Support Members

PHILADELPHIA—In early February, USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) set sail from Jacksonville, Fla., on its way to support missions in Afghanistan. CV 67 and five escort ships replaced the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) battle group.

Before deploying, USS Kennedy underwent an intensive two-month repair effort to ensure she was up to the task of supporting our war effort. And NSWCCD-SSES played a key role in ensuring she was ready to go.

To fulfill our mission in the areas of Fleet support and in-service engineering, several Code 90 technical codes responded quickly and effectively when needed. The work was coordinated through our Carriers Platform Section (9122), under the management of Jim Summers.

In early January, two Auxiliary and Amphibious Steam and Auxiliary Controls (9221) representatives performed modifications to the electronic automatic boiler control uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) inside the main consoles in all four main machine rooms. The UPS were failing prematurely, and our engineers attributed it to excessive heat being generated by the steam plant. Air inlet and outlet holes for extra air flow were drilled into the covers that protect the UPS. An inlet fan was mounted to the front of the cover, which force feeds cool air via three-inch aluminum ducting to the air intake side of the UPS. Power condition going to the UPS was checked and deemed satisfactory.

Additionally, Code 9221 representatives planned and checked accommodations for an alternative for the UPS to power the electronic automatic boiler controls, which would involve a dual redundant power supply being powered by two separate power lines coming from two different switchboards.

In January and February, the Carrier Steam and Auxiliary Controls Section (9224) provided on-site ship’s force training on the installed electronic automatic boiler control systems, as well as the electronic controls installed in numerous auxiliary steam plant applications. This training was requested due to a recent turnover in ship’s personnel.

In conjunction with the training, our representatives also participated in a thorough inspection and alignment of the control equipment with several emergent valve repairs completed. Code 9224 personnel were on site through all system steam testing and participated in underway testing during which seven of eight boilers were load tested to verify the control equipment. Time constraints of the sea trial prevented testing of all eight boilers. A ship’s full power demonstration was also conducted. At the completion of the 30-hour sea trial evolution, the ship’s Commanding Officer declared the ship safe and reliable, with all the INSERV discrepancies overcome.

The Main and Auxiliary Steam Generator Section (9222) and the Auxiliary Machinery and Fluid Systems Branch (923)) provided assistance on many repair and replacement issues in support of Kennedy’s deployment. The key personnel supporting this effort were Joe Hungerbuhler (9235), Douglas Ohlman (9235), Thomas Ferrese (9235), Harry Nickel (9222), and Mark Rebold (9222). Extraordinary procurement support was provided by Regina Shuster (3351). Assistance was also provided by the Provisioning Support Section (9451). The technical support to the ship included research, logistics support, and testing. Specific equipments supported included boiler economizers, boiler desuperheater thermal sleeves, safety valve cables, tube plugs, GIS safety valves and valve gag locks, photocells for boiler Wager smoke indicators, and boiler stack gas analyzer probes. In late January, a Code 9235 representative successfully supported hydrostatic tests on the main propulsion boilers.

The Electric Power 400 Hz and DC Systems Section (9344) was tasked to repair/groom and set the Aircraft Electrical Servicing System (AESS) prior to deployment. The AESS is designed to provide 400 Hz power to naval aircraft for servicing and engine starting. It uses 400 Hz power that is generated from the ship’s four 400Hz motor generators driven by variable speed drives. Code 9344 adapted a three-phase approach. Phase I, conducted in November 2001, assessed the condition of the AESS, repaired discrepancies, and established parts required for Phase II. Replacement parts for typical failure items were taken down on Phase I, so initial repairs could be accomplished. During Phase II, which was conducted during December and January, all outstanding discrepancies were to be corrected. Phase III consisted of turning in repair items that required depot-level work to be accomplished during yard availability at the end of the deployment.

At the beginning of Phase I, 38 of the 51 AESS stations were either inoperable, had significant problems, or did not provide the required 113-188VAC. Code 9344 assembled a team that consisted of Dave Diefenderfer, Phil Jarowski, Steve Peta and approximately five contractors. The AESS team had to adjust system voltage on 44 of the 51 stations and made numerous repairs that included complete replacement of three line voltage regulators and two disconnect switches, replacement of numerous cables and cableheads, and repair of existing line voltage regulators and available load monitors. In addition, contractor personnel were tasked with completely rewiring more than 30 push button switches and ASCO disconnect switches. At the conclusion of Phase II, all 51 AESS stations were fully operational and supplied the required voltage. Phase III items are currently being addressed with COMNAV- AIRLANT for repair during an upcoming availability.

Code 9344 was also asked by COMNAVAIRLANT to upgrade the existing variable speed drive units that control the 400 Hz motor generators on CV 67. Over the past two years, NSWCCD-SSES installed four new variable speed drives onboard. Since the initial installation, Code 9344 has developed several upgrades, improvements to the variable speed drives that are designed to increase the reliability of the system. During December, Code 9344 representatives Kevin McMaster and Harry Wiedman installed surge suppressors on the voltage regulators and corrected discrepancies in the variable speed drive alarm circuit on the four drive units. In addition, the team also groomed each variable speed drive and provided operation and maintenance training to ship’s force. At the conclusion of the visit, all upgrades were installed, and all drive units were fully operational.

During this repair period, the Kennedy urgently requested that the Hull Outfitting, Access and Computer-Aided Engineering Section (9782) evaluate a Departure From Specification (DFS) concerning temporary repair of three damaged bridge windows. The DFS requested that the ship be allowed to replace the damaged bridge windows with a LEXAN product two inches thick in the three locations until the ship returned to port following an at-sea training period at which time original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windows would be installed by a contractor. An investigation revealed that the selected LEXAN product was only available in one-inch thickness, and therefore two one-inch sheets were required to achieve the proper dimension. Code 9782, the in-service engineering agent/life cycle engineering manager for windows, concurred with the DFS to allow the use of a LEXAN product as a temporary repair in the three damaged window locations on the bridge until the OEM windows were procured and installed.

In addition to personnel, NSWCCD-SSES also provided equipment to the ship in its preparation for deployment. The Maintenance Technologies Section (9733) provided three right-hand and four left-hand balanced door operators to the ship in support of repairs to seven balanced joiner doors. These parts were provided on very short notice. Code 9733 received the request on January 8; the parts were shipped on January 9; and the ship received the parts on January 11. These parts allowed the ship to accomplish the repairs required to the balanced joiner doors, so they would pass inspection.

The fact that USS Kennedy is now overseas defending our interests is due to many factors. But it is good to know that our organization lent a hand in this war on terrorism by ensuring that the hull, mechanical and electrical systems were all good to go. We wish the Kennedy and her crew fair winds and following seas during her deployment, as well as a safe and speedy return.
See related article on page 21.

Editor’s Note: I’d like to thank the following engineers for their writeups on work accomplished aboard USS John F. Kennedy: David Diefenderfer, Thomas Ferrese, William Markey, Marlin Rowe, Patrick Ryals, and Michael Wolff.


Join the mailing list

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias