NOVEMBER 15, 2016, By Petty Officer 3rd Class Zackary Alan Landers, Pacific Ocean (NNS) – All Nimitz-Class aircraft carriers are built to serve the United States for 50 years, according to the Navy.mil official fact file. These ships need constant upkeep, and it is the job of the Maintenance and Material Management, or 3M, Department to make sure the work gets done.
Aboard aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the 3M office works diligently to ensure the material condition of the ship is not only satisfactory, but constantly improving.
Carl Vinson 3M coordinator, Chief Petty Officer Christopher Shay, is responsible for assisting the 3M officer in the management of the ship’s maintenance program.
“Ships have a 3M program to ensure material condition, cleanliness, and ensure mission readiness,” said Shay. “All those areas are vital.”
Familiar to shipboard Sailors, but perhaps transparent to others is the zone inspection program. The program consists of dividing the ship into nine inspection areas, or zones, which are evaluated on a rotating cycle.
“Zone inspection is vital to the ship’s material condition because it is a chance for trained inspectors to dig deep into individual spaces,” said Shay. “3M Department tracks all of the discrepancies and makes sure they are addressed.”
Shay said Carl Vinson uses the Total Ship’s Information Management System, or TSIMS, to sort and organize the myriad of information generated by the weekly inspections.
“It takes hours to input and itemize all the discrepancies, but being able to see the entire ship’s maintenance needs is an invaluable tool,” Shay said. “Having everyone on the same page is the biggest challenge, but it’s also one of the most important aspects.”
Chief Petty Officer Linda Walker, also a 3M coordinator aboard the ship, said maintenance readiness directly translates into mission readiness.
“You perform maintenance to keep your equipment in optimal condition,” said Walker. “If your equipment is in good shape, the material readiness of the ship is going to be mission ready. For Carl Vinson, the mission is deployment.”
As Carl Vinson makes the final preparations for deployment, the 3M office will continue to push for readiness in all aspects of shipboard maintenance.