SPECIAL REPORT / MAINTENANCE, REPAIR & OVERHAUL
What workforce concerns do you have?
DOWNEY: With the amount of maintenance and modernization work, it is important to have a predictable,
planned and stable workforce. This includes the right
resources, tools, training systems, information technology infrastructure — for example, instituting cyber
security on ships and shipboard systems — to support
a right-sized workforce.
Right-sizing the RMC workforce has been at the
forefront of our efforts at CNRMC since the command’s
establishment in 2010. Since that time, the Navy has
been increasing the number of Sailors at the RMCs and
Intermediate Maintenance Facilities [IMFs], which
aligns with our manning at each site. We remain on
track in our efforts to grow our Sailor workforce, and
our focus includes repopulation of Sailors at overseas
Over the next few years, the number of Sailors
assigned to the Forward Deployed Regional Maintenance
Center [FDRMC] detachments will continue to increase
to meet the demand schedule for shipboard maintenance and repairs. During fiscal year 2016, the number
of Sailors assigned to FDRMC grew from 150 to 210,
with a plan to grow to 217 Sailors in 2017, which is
projected to meet our manning goals.
Within the RMCs, the challenge in front of us is to
balance the needs of today’s Navy while ensuring flexibility to meet the needs of tomorrow’s Navy. Therefore,
it becomes operationally critical to maintain the current level of manning at the RMCs in order to ensure
implementation and execution of our Navy Afloat
Maintenance Training Strategy and Maintenance Assist
Team programs, which incorporate hands-on training
with actual work accomplishment. These programs
develop ‘confident and competent’ maintenance warriors fully capable of completing myriad repair and
maintenance functions at both the maintenance facilities and afloat commands.
How are you handling the growing fleet of littoral combat ships (LCSs)?
DOWNEY: I am responsible for all the maintenance and
modernization programs in the Navy for surface ships
with the exception on the programmatic side of LCS.
The LCS maintenance program still exists within PEO
[Program Executive Office] LCS. I support that PEO
via my RMCs and I’m responsible for executing the
strategy of that program.
Right now, it’s very hard to differentiate them from
any other ship class in the Navy. Part of that main-