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    Undersea Warfare Center’s UUV Systems Material Readiness Branch Remains Open for Business



    Story by Nathanael T. Miller 

    Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport

    The Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Systems Material Readiness Branch at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport has remained open for business providing critical support to the fleet while protecting its workforce’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    NUWC Keyport’s UUV Systems Material Readiness Branch oversees a wide range of critical activities, from the MK 30 Target Shop to the Depot Maintenance Inter-service Support (DMISA) program which functions as a repair facility supporting military aviation.

    Robert Butterton, UUV Systems Material Readiness Branch Head, said ensuring the safety of the branch’s workforce was key to keeping the branch open for business.

    “We have incorporated all of the NUWC Keyport guidelines, which were based on Navy and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidance,” said Butterton. “Facemasks have become part of our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Since the depot area is so large compared to the amount of personnel we have within it, it is easy for our team members to remain six feet apart during the day. When we are in close proximity to each other, we must wear a mask.”

    Butterton also said cleaning materials have been provided at each workstation in order to allow the team members to continually keep the workspace clean.

    “Many of our technicians work from kiosks since they don't have their own personal desks,” Butterton said. “As a result, each kiosk has sanitation equipment so it can be wiped down prior to use, and as soon as that employee is done using it.”

    The critical work done by UUV Systems Material Readiness Branch directly supports warfighters in the Navy, and, indeed, across the Department of Defense.

    Jes Chase, the UUV Systems Material Readiness Branch Lead Engineer, said the MK 30 Target Depot is central to helping Navy warfighters stay ready to meet any challenges that come their way by building and maintain the targets used in naval exercises.

    “These training exercises are essential for our Navy to be proficient and ready to deploy at any time,” said Chase. “In addition, we maintain test equipment and also work with our warfighters to develop custom geometries and acoustics for the MK 30 Target so the Navy can customize training events.”

    The MK 30 target has been in use for over 40 years, and Chase said extending its service life is one of the branch’s priorities.

    “We are intricately involved with the MK 30 Service Life Extension Program,” said Chase. “We look at obsolescence issues and work to both reverse engineer and redesign components in order to extend the life of the MK 30 Target by modernizing it with current technology. This also saves the Navy money by keeping a proven technology in the fleet.”

    Besides providing targets and support for fleet training activities, the UUV Systems Material Readiness Branch continues to aim high by supporting naval and U.S. Air Force aviation. Richard Kuipers, Project Lead for the Depot Maintenance Inter-service Support (DMISA) program, said NUWC Keyport’s support is critical to ensuring military aircraft can safely fly.

    “The DMISA program functions as a depot level repair facility,” said Kuipers. “We support the United States Air Force, Naval Supply Systems Command and Naval Air Systems Command with the overhaul and testing of motors, actuators, and other components for numerous military aircraft platforms used by the warfighter. In many cases, the DMISA program is solely responsible for the overhaul of specific components and relies on both mechanical and electrical competencies to successfully repair, test, and troubleshoot components.”

    Butterton said the branch was able to keep these and all its programs on track through the quick implementation of Navy and CDC guidelines and modifying existing contracts so contract workers would benefit from the same level of protection as federal workers.

    “This was key to protecting employees while maintaining project schedules,” said Butterton. “We implemented a staggered onsite/telework schedule to have minimal onsite presence, and we created a rotation in the days we have personnel onsite. This staggered support helps with maintaining safe distances for those onsite.”

    Butterton said the team demonstrated a great deal of teamwork and flexibility during the adjustment to the new reality mandated by the pandemic.

    “We have an amazing team who works well together,” said Butterton. “They came up with the plan and they executed the plan. Getting out in front of the guidelines, anticipating the impacts they would have on production, and then finding solutions was pivotal to the success we have had within the branch remaining open for business.”



    Date Taken: 06.11.2020
    Date Posted: 06.11.2020 13:54
    Story ID: 371925
    Location: KEYPORT, WA, US 

    Web Views: 69
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