USS Ashland (LSD 48) successfully completed sea trials, Sept. 16 in Norfolk, Va., marking the end of its recent Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) maintenance availability. An availability is the time a U.S. Naval ship undergoes repairs and alterations to return it to a fully operational status and ensure complete mission readiness.
Upon completion, all work within an availability must be documented and certified.
“Expanded Process Control Procedures (EPCPs), which serve as a controlled work document, are improving quality and are a valuable investment of time and effort during avails,” said Assistant Project Officer for Norfolk Ship Support Activity’s (NSSA) Operations Department, Lt. Angela Owens.
According to Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center (CNRMC) Rear Adm. David Gale, the EPCP documentation process provides all information needed to certify that work completed within a ship’s availability is in compliance with the existing technical requirements and greatly enhances the overall quality of the repair.
“The use of EPCPs and other work certification procedures underscores our focus to invoke a permanent shift in our workforce’s culture that will result in first time quality for every ship, during every availability,” said Gale.
“The requirement of EPCPs,” said Gale, “is to create a series of technical work documents (TWDs) that provide sufficient detail, including all the necessary objective quality evidence (OQE) required, ensuring the completion of the TWD accurately.”
USS Ashland completed its dock and sea trials, then validated the work with a successful full power run and high-speed exercise known as swing checks. The swing checks were performed as both full ahead and full astern with rudder, testing the ship’s ability to stop the movement of its bow by counter-steering and determine the ship’s seaworthiness.
“The Ashland completed its full power run Sunday; it was the best I’ve ever seen,” said Expeditionary Strike Group TWO’s (ESG2) Cmdr. Gregory Benton, who assisted in sea trial assessments.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, September 19, 2012; Image:navy