“We are doing great things in Rota, and two points
underpin our accomplishments. First, the maintenance
team is everyone — civilian, uniform, contractor, naval
station, ship’s company — all of us have a vested interest
in getting to the goal, and active involvement is what
drives our success. Second, relationships matter —
between government and contractor, U.S. and Spanish,
ship and shore, coordinating multiple lines of effort and
delivering solutions that match needs requires strong
relationships and effective communication,” Saegert said.
“Our relationship with ISEMER [Instalaciones del
Segundo Escalón de Mantenimiento en Rota] is superb,”
he said. “The Spanish Navy has proven to be a reliable,
quality source for accomplishing second-echelon and
intermediate-level efforts. FDRMC is expanding our
presence to accommodate a greater throughput —
including planning, scheduling and monitoring — of
work this fiscal year. The Spanish are invested in making
this partnership work well, as are we.”
The future vision is one with an integrated presence in
the workforce, where teams of both Spanish and Ameri-
can technicians provide quality support to homeported
Spanish and American ships in Rota, Saegert said.
“Our primary focus areas for integration are in gas
turbines, where current capability has been assessed by
NAVSEA [Naval Sea Systems Command] as very high
quality, and in predictive maintenance — such as
infrared thermography and vibration analysis — where
the Spanish have a robust program in place, and we can
potentially learn some best practices,” he said.
Although small, the 14 FDNF MCMs and PCs in Fifth
Fleet have a big mission.
Because of their size and limited crew, many of the
functions that normally would be assigned to each PC,
such as maintenance, is performed by Patrol Coastal
Squadron One (PCRON 1), also located in Bahrain.
“The ships don’t do maintenance above the
organizational-level, so major maintenance has to be
done in port,” CDR Jake Douglas, PCRON 1’s command-
er, said in an e-mail response to questions. “The ships
have a very high operating tempo, so that’s a lot of main-
tenance for the 24 enlisted crew members to complete.
The small crews can’t meet those maintenance demands,
so we have an engineering readiness department and a
combat systems readiness department that supplement
the crews to meet that requirement.”
Douglas says the squadron personnel do not per-
form intermediate-level (I-level) maintenance.
“They’re not I-level. Our guys are ship-level maintain-
ers. We rely on FDRMC Bahrain for our I-level and depot
maintenance. With 10 ships conducting CMAVs each
quarter and a DPMA every three years, the PCs keep
FDRMC Bahrain very busy. The amount of work they do
for us is massive and they do a great job. Additionally,
with the FDRMC PC team co-located with my staff on
the waterfront, coordination is extremely efficient.”
In addition to supporting the FDNF ships in
Bahrain and the ships that will be deploying to the
region, Galinis said the detachment is looking ahead
for the forward deployment of the littoral combat ship
(LCS) to the Fifth Fleet AOR.
“We expect to see them possibly in the late FY ’ 17, early
FY ’ 18 time frame,” he said. “We’re working closely with
PEO LCS and Fifth Fleet to make sure the maintenance
team is ready to go. We’re taking lessons learned from the
deployments of the first two LCSs in the Seventh Fleet
AOR and rolling that into our planning process in Bahrain.
We’re thinking about where we want FDRMC to be five or
10 years from now. Bahrain is a growth area for us.”
Like the PCs, the LCSs have small crews that do not
perform most of their maintenance when they return
to port. But while the PC squadron has a maintenance
support team to conduct preventive maintenance, the
LCS maintenance is contracted out.
Galinis said the Navy has established a small
intermediate-level maintenance capability at Bahrain.
“We were pulling Sailors from the Mid-Atlantic
Regional Maintenance Center in Norfolk for a period
of about six months to Bahrain to man this mini-SIMA
[Ship Intermediate Maintenance Activity]. We’ve had,
at any given time, anywhere from 10 to 15 Sailors on
site, and in some cases, a couple of civilians, as well.
Beginning in FY ’ 16, we got authorization to establish
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 40 SEAPOWER / DECEMBER 2015
Fire Controlman 3rd Class Jacob Smith, left, and Fire
Controlman 1st Class David Simangern, both assigned to
the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney, conduct preventive maintenance on the Phalanx Close-In Weapon
System barrels Sept. 13 in the Atlantic Ocean. Both
Sailors are wearing the Navy’s new fire retardant coveralls. Carney is the fourth Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to
be forward deployed to Rota, Spain.