SEMBAWANG, Singapore — The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) is making preparations to get underway from Sembawang after successfully conducting preventive maintenance availability (PMAV) and restricted availability (RAV) maintenance.
This availability was particularly unique, as it was the first maintenance availability conducted at Sembawang. Typically Fort Worth will conduct maintenance availabilities at Changi Naval Base, but the ability to shift the location to a different port further demonstrates the flexibility of the ship as well as the shore support, which will be beneficial when more LCSs are operating in the region.
"With only two weeks to refit the ship and conduct preventive maintenance, all parties had to be firing in sync and on all cylinders," said Cmdr. Christopher Brown, commanding officer of Fort Worth. "And they certainly did."
After a scheduled underway period where Fort Worth completed Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia, as well as CARAT Malaysia, the ship was due for an in port maintenance period.
"The point of RAV is to get the ship re-fitted and repairs accomplished which otherwise could not be conducted at sea," said Lt. Lakir Patel, main propulsion assistant of Fort Worth. "It is also a time when major maintenance is completed, which requires contractors because typically the scope of such work is outside the ship's capabilities, especially given the LCS operational manning."
This maintenance period had the added complexity of simultaneously undertaking both restricted availability maintenance and preventive maintenance.
"RAV started two days before PMAV to ensure work on the corrective maintenance side could commence prior to the preventive maintenance," said Patel. "PMAV is a time in port when the ship completes all required preventive maintenance on vital systems to support operational requirements. During RAV we fix items that are broken, and during PMAV we prevent items from breaking in the future."
"For this in port maintenance period Fort Worth completed 638 PMS (preventive maintenance system) checks with 96 checks added after we commenced the availability for a total of 744 PMS checks," said Brown. "Additionally, we completed 25 RAV scheduled repairs, 20 Voyage repairs, and a major "D-Phase" maintenance availability on our embarked MH-60R(helicopter)."
In the Airborne Mission Zone sailors assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, Detachment 3, currently embarked aboard Fort Worth, were engaged in tearing down and inspecting major and minor components of the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.
"The Enforcers (Detachment 3) completed Phase D while Fort Worth was is in port for RAV/PMAV," said Lt. Mark Edson, maintenance officer for HSM-35, Detachment 3. "This is scheduled maintenance that is completed based off flight hours on the aircraft. The focus of maintenance has been on the rotor head of the aircraft, requiring the maintainers to disassemble and reassemble the rotor head, along with various other components of the aircraft. The Enforcers have done an excellent job of this task."
The hundreds of preventive maintenance checks that Crew 102 performed over the maintenance period varied from simple tasks to complicated undertakings.
"We have maintenance on everything from ship's ventilation systems to checks on habitability gear, combat systems gear and all of the engineering equipment," said Patel. "This could be as simple as changing filters or replacing batteries to more extensive checks such as TRS-3D (Fort Worth's radar) output frequency checks."
Fort Worth is the second LCS to deploy to U.S. 7th Fleet as part of an initiative to simultaneously deploy up to four LCS to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in just a few years. The third and fourth LCSs are planned to arrive in 2016, when the region will see two of these ships deployed at the same time.
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