Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty to Restore an Ammunition Strikedown System

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The Challenge

The USS FARRAGUT (DDG-99), which calls the Mayport Naval Station its home port, requested technical assistance from the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center for their five-inch ammunition strikedown system. The system was out of commission due to its exceeding the due date for weight testing and subsequently failing the weight test. The ship was scheduled for a mandatory ammunition off-load that was critical to the ship’s mission and training cycle.  

One of LCE’s Engineering Services Group (ESG) employees providing support to the U.S. Navy’s Southeast Regional Maintenance Center  responded to provide technical assistance. The installed pneumatic hoist was not working and required an overhaul. The ship’s spare ammunition hoist was installed and failed the weight test criteria as well. Initial options to get both hoists operational included:

  1. Ship the hoists to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for repair with a six-week minimum lead time.
  2. Procure replacement hoists through the Navy supply system with a three-month minimum lead time.
  3. Cannibalize two other ships of their spare hoists. 

The Solution

Brainstorming ways to help, LCE’s employee contacted the OEM, explained the critical situation concerning the ammunition hoists and was able to coordinate a rapid turnaround plan. He proposed to personally hand-deliver both ammunition hoists to the OEM in Lexington, S.C. and assist with the necessary ammunition hoists repairs. The Southeast Regional Maintenance Center management team embraced the idea and approved the travel. The LCE team member left on a Sunday with two hoists in the bed of his personal pickup truck, drove to Lexington, repaired and tested both hoists and was back in Mayport, Florida that Tuesday evening. His efforts enabled Southeast Regional Maintenance Center to meet their commitment of support to ships and allowed USS FARRAGUT to safely transfer ammunition. It also helped the LCE team member to gain valuable knowledge of the OEM’s equipment, preparing him to provide future technical assistance.  

© 2010 Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.

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