SPECIAL REPORT / MAINTENANCE, REPAIR & OVERHAUL
Vice Adm. Thomas J. Moore, NAVSEA’s commander, has stated his No. 1 priority is getting
ships and submarines out of maintenance
availabilities on time. How can your command
make that happen?
DOWNEY: My job is to get all of the maintenance and
modernization work done on time, on budget. That is
really part of what is necessary to achieve the Navy’s
priorities, the CNO’s [chief of naval operations’] “Design
for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,” and part of that is
the ships and their capability of operating from the sea.
To do that, I’ve got to get them to the point where they
are ready to go to sea. His [Moore’s] priorities directly
flow from the CNO [Adm. John M. Richardson] and
from the assistant secretary of the Navy for Research,
Development and Acquisition [Sean J. Stackley].
As we relate to those requirements, a key part of
that “on time, on budget” is getting the requirements
right, [as well as] getting the resources to people and
the money to match those requirements; putting the
processes in place to execute that work; plan and
execute the work with industry via an acquisition
Execution on Time,
The Navy’s ship maintenance boss is point man for NAVSEA’s No. 1 priority
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 14 SEAPOWER / NOVEMBER 2016
Rear Adm. James P. Downey only has been in his current job for
a few months, double-hatted as commander, Navy Regional Maintenance
Center (CNRMC), and deputy commander, Surface Warfare, in Naval
Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
As CNRMC, he oversees the Navy’s four Regional Maintenance Centers
(RMCs) and two detachment sites in their execution of surface ship
maintenance and modernization, and is responsible for coordinating the
depot- and intermediate-level maintenance of the Navy’s surface fleet.
He is responsible for resourcing the many requirements necessary to
meet the demanding schedule of ship maintenance availabilities that
keep the Navy’s warships materially ready for action.
In his NAVSEA billet, Downey oversees the programs responsible
for the life-cycle management of the Navy’s in-service surface ships,
including critical modernization and maintenance efforts, as well as
Foreign Military Sales, training and inactivation programs.
Educated in economics and computer science, Downey qualified as a
surface warfare officer on a destroyer before becoming an engineering duty officer. He has had assignments managing development and integration programs, including program chief engineer for the CVN
21 Gerald R. Ford-class carrier and major program manager for the CG(X) next-generation cruiser. Most
recently, he was program manager for the Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer (DDG 1000) program,
which led to the delivery of the lead ship earlier this year.
Downey discussed the challenges of fleet maintenance with Managing Editor Richard R. Burgess.