MARCH 1, 2021 – Bravo Zulus are great for the soul. So when Rear Adm. Casey Moton, Program Executive Officer, Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC), Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) shared a Bravo Zulu (BZ) for Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) Dan Lin, of course he was extremely happy.
In an all-hands communication in Dec. last year, Moton mentioned that Lin “developed a cost-effective and rapidly implemented solution to a troubled system (waterjets). One of the primary reliability drivers of that system has been identified by the ISEA (Dan Lin) as a candidate to be replaced during a planned maintenance availability (PMAV). The life cycle of this item is such that it fails sooner than was expected. The item is very inexpensive and it can be replaced during a PMAV, avoiding lost mission days while the long-term engineering analysis is performed.”
Lin reacted humbly, saying, “While this is just part of the job, and ultimately we are here to support the fleet, it’s still very rewarding to get acknowledged for a job well done.”
He added, “While my name was specifically called out, the waterjets team is truly a team. We work very closely together on all tasks, and this was a team effort. They deserve the recognition as well. John Kirschner, Catherine Abbott, Sam Richards, and contractor Ed Brown are vital to all the work we get and output we produce.”
A 15-year veteran of the NSWCPD, Lin serves as the team lead in waterjets and works mostly on Littoral Class Ships (LCS), but also supports Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS), Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV), and acquisition side of Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) classes.
Most of Lin’s work is derived from the goal of improving their logistics, design, reliability, maintainability, and availability of technical data. Additionally, he meets with both LCS program offices, acquisition and in-service, to discuss status of tasks, brief out additional insights, and follow up on other issues.
In this situation, Lin focused on the waterjets. In waterjet propulsion, water is ingested using an inlet duct, then fed through the waterjets at a high velocity, thereby providing the necessary force needed to propel and steer the ship. The waterjet system is a complex system including mechanical and hydraulic aspects that even a minor fault in one area can bring down an individual waterjet.
Lin identified a flaw within the system’s design that required a larger, long-term repair. Knowing that a larger scale solution would require more time, he also determined an immediate, low-cost fix.
“I recommended as a mitigation plan to develop a time based maintenance procedure to replace the component every four months to avoid having the component fail while the ships are out to sea,” explained Lin. “The preventative maintenance service (PMS) card has been developed and currently our logistics folks are in the process of implementing the card.”
Loss of power and mobility to a ship is a critical issue and requires an immediate attention for rectification. This includes sending waterjet engineers outside the continental United States (OCONUS) to troubleshoot the vessel onsite.
“These OCONUS trips are expensive, and in the two years we’ve been requested to provide onsite support five times,” explained Lin. “The recommended mitigation until a final solution can be implemented is still anticipated to result in significant reliability improvements, reducing downtime for waterjets, and cost reduction as the engineers will not need to travel to support frequent repairs.”
When hearing of Lin’s recognition, Shafting, Surface Ship Propellers & Waterjets Branch Head Monica Schrank said, “I was extremely happy to see Dan receive recognition at such a high level. Over the past year as Dan’s supervisor, I have continuously witnessed him go above and beyond to support the Fleet.”
Schrank noted that in the past year multiple failures required Lin to go OCONUS twice during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “Both trips required a 14-day Restriction Of Movement (ROM), which Dan supported without hesitation, along with the associated troubleshooting and repair time. Dan and the waterjets team continue to amaze me with their unwavering Fleet support, we are lucky to have such a dedicated and hardworking team at NSWCPD.”
“Dan Lin’s technical excellence and commitment to the Navy is the critical reason that the Waterjet system is seeing marked improvements,” added Propulsion Systems Division Head David Gloeckner. “His contributions are greater than this one event and his ability to manage, lead, and engineer the system has been the key contributing factor to solving many challenging waterjet issues and bringing this system into a more reliable and healthy state.”
NSWCPD employs approximately 2,700 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. The NSWCPD team does the research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for the non-nuclear machinery, ship machinery systems, and related equipment and material for Navy surface ships and submarines. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.
Story by Brentan Debysingh
Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division