USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was evaluated by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic’s (CNAL) maintenance and material management (3M) team during Ford’s first-ever 3M Inspection (3MI), May 17 – 20.
3M is designed to provide ships and applicable shore stations with a simple and standard means for planning, scheduling, controlling, and performing maintenance on all shipboard systems and equipment.
3MI is a thorough inspection of Sailors ability to properly maintain various equipment located all over the ship to maximize equipment and operational readiness. The inspections are inclusive of every department onboard to prolong the overall life of the ship. Ford received an overall score of 93.44 percent on the inspection.
Master Chief Electronics Technician Debra Lee, from Pensacola, Florida, assigned to CNAL as a 3M inspector, explained the importance of conducting these routine inspections.
“This is a snapshot of how maintenance is being conducted onboard. ‘Are the Sailors following procedures, do they understand the maintenance and are they conducting it safely?’”, said Lee. “The inspection is only 250 [maintenance] checks out of tens of thousands conducted onboard but does give the inspection team an adequate picture of any major issues and how well the crew is trained.”
Lee added that during the spot checks she inspected, Ford Sailors were extremely professional and well trained as well as their work center supervisors being knowledgeable and eager to answer questions.
Preparation for a ship-wide inspection goes a long way to ensuring a successful outcome. Master Chief Machinists Mate Boyd Story, assigned to Ford’s maintenance support center as 3M leading chief petty officer, gave insight to the preparations made by Ford.
“The 3M office conducted two mini 3MI’s alongside the departments. Those two events drove home not only the importance of doing maintenance correctly, but they ensured Ford Sailors had the necessary tools to complete 3MI successfully. Ford’s Sailors did outstanding and there was a big improvement from 3MA to 3MI. You can tell the Sailors were very prepared.”
Sailors were monitored and inspected on routine preventative maintenance checks that had been previously completed within the last quarter. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Larry Crew, from Liberty Hills, Texas, assigned to Ford’s medical department, was selected to participate in a 3M check that was inspected.
“In preparation for the inspection, I worked with the work center supervisor to gather all of the tools and materials that were needed and then we performed a dry run,” said Crew. “I felt more comfortable with the inspection and it was easy because I had done the check before and it was almost like second nature.”
Story provided one takeaway that he would advise Ford Sailors adhere to.
“Each department should continue to train each week as if we have 3MI the following week, If we are always ready, there will be no stress on the command in the future. Be flawless, ensuring the ship is the best in the fleet.”
3MI wrapped up with an outbrief with Ford’s 3M office, inspectors and Ford’s executive officer.
Lee echoed Story by saying, “Ford Sailors did an outstanding job during 3MI. They must perform at the same level daily, even with no inspection on the horizon. Never compromise and report discrepancies to your chain of command.”
For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.dvidshub.net/unit/CVN78