By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Pittman
SOUTH CHINA SEA (Oct. 17, 2012) – The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) prepares for its Maintenance and Material Management Assessment (3MA) that will take place Oct. 21 – 24.
3MA is where inspectors from Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) embark the ship to assess George Washington’s maintenance and material management (3M) systems, and provide Sailors instruction on anything 3M-related.
“3MA is more training than anything else,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Devall Wilson, from Bronx, N.Y. “[CNAF] will observe us in action, but it is basically a big training session.”
The CNAF inspectors will assess the ship’s 3M systems, including training procedures, preventative maintenance actions and administration.
“The assessors will conduct a thorough administrative review where they will check our books from cover to cover,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Carlton Jones, from Dickinson, Texas. “They will review all of our maintenance required card (MRC), maintenance index page (MIP), safety page and qualification lists to make sure that everything is up to date. We have to make certain everything is current, from transitioning workcenter supervisors, to brand new MIPs.”
The inspectors will check every division’s 3M workcenters and comb through their preventative maintenance manuals, ensuring that every MRC and MIP is correctly added and logged. They will also observe Sailors conduct spot checks, which is a monitored demonstration of the maintenance performed.
“The assessors will help us out; they’ll answer questions, give us instructions and walk us through spot checks,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Clinton Drewery, from Moberly, Ala. “They assist us with our 3M in a big way.”
3MA, while a mostly guided evolution, is still a graded exercise important to the ship.
“The 3MA score is a soft grade; it’s almost a pretest to the 3M Inspection (3MI) that will be held next year,” said Wilson. “3MI is the real deal inspection. CNAF will observe us in the same way they do during 3MA, but they aren’t going to train us during the inspection. We have to be fully ready for 3MI.”
3MI does not allow for training to be conducted during administrative reviews or spot checks; inspectors simply monitor the Sailors in action and give a grade of pass or fail for each evolution they participate in. Training is only given at the end of the event when the inspectors let the crew know what could have been done better.
“During 3MI, the inspectors ask questions like ‘have people been gundecking’ or ‘does this supervisor know what they are doing’; 3MA allows us to ensure we’re doing what we’re supposed to,” said Drewery. “The inspectors will give us information about specific types of [material] needed for specific types of maintenance. They’ll assist a brand new workcenter supervisor who’s still learning the ropes and give that person the tools they need to succeed. They’re here to help and make sure we’re doing everything right.”
The training offered to Sailors during 3MA, besides preparing them for a critical inspection like 3MI, allows Sailors to strengthen their maintenance skills.
“I am sure George Washington will do well because we’ve aced every maintenance challenge we’ve had thrown our way,” said Jones. “We do it right the first time every time. George Washington is trained and ready to go.”
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
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