SURFMEPP takes long view of surface ship maintenance
By EDWARD LUNDQUIST, Special Correspondent
Life-Cycle Management Evolves
torically, surface ship maintenance
was conducted ad hoc, and critical
maintenance may be deferred in
order to meet deployment or surge
requirements. SURFMEPP will
ensure surface ships are maintained
to the same rigorous standards as
the subs and carriers, which is
something the Navy has not done as
well in the past.”
Citing the need for sufficiently
“engineered” work packages,
SURFMEPP will provide mainte-
nance planning across entire class-
es of ships, as well as managing
when individual ships will be made
available for repairs and mainte-
nance throughout their life cycle.
SURFMEPP also will offer maintenance planning data systems and
tools; cost engineering and material management; as
well as deliver comprehensive analysis, risk assessments and recommend mitigating strategies.
The SSLCM Activity was stood up in Norfolk in
September 2008 and formally established in May 2009
to identify and improve the technical rigor being used
for surface ship class maintenance requirements. Now,
as SURFMEPP, the command is responsible for “getting
the maintenance requirements process right,” according
to Tom Gallagher, a civilian employee of the Navy who
is serving as SURFMEPP’s acting commanding until a
naval officer is ordered to assume command.
“This includes hull, mechanical and engineering,
combat systems and future modernization requirements,” he said.
“This is not about a name change, but rather a
change that recognizes the vital and significant revolution that has happened in how the Navy views the
importance of surface ship maintenance,” said
NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, at the
The Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program
(SURFMEPP) is an evolutionary step from the Surface Ship Life
Cycle Management for delivering a comprehensive assessment
and sustainment infrastructure for the surface fleet.
■ SURFMEPP will ensure U.S. Navy surface ships are maintained
to the same rigorous standards as submarines and carriers.
■ The program is responsible for clearly defining the end-to-end
maintenance required across a surface ship’s life cycle so that it
reaches its expected service life.
■ Maintenance issues such as corrosion, tank conditions and
degradation of distributed systems will improve over time as
SURFMEPP focuses on “slow-to-degrade” systems and structures that jeopardize service life.
The November establishment of the Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP)asa Naval Sea System Command
(NAVSEA) field activity based at the Norfolk, Va., Naval
Shipyard is a big step toward improving the “end-to-end”
maintenance process of U.S. surface ships.
SURFMEPP will define, defend and manage the long-term maintenance requirements for ships in the surface
fleet, and represents an evolutionary step from the Surface
Ship Life Cycle Management (SSLCM) in delivering a
comprehensive assessment and sustainment infrastructure for the surface fleet. It is patterned after the successful Submarine Maintenance Engineering Planning and
Procurement Activity and the Carrier Planning Activity.
SURFMEPP is responsible for clearly defining the
end-to-end maintenance required across a ship’s entire
life cycle so that it reaches its expected service life.
“On subs and carriers, NAVSEA plans required maintenance periods and actions for a ship’s entire service
life,” said NAVSEA spokesman Chris Johnson. “But, his-