Despite record heat and humidity, over 1,000 people attended the first-ever NCMS Technology Showcase at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility in Yokosuka, Japan. The repair facility is responsible for repairing and maintaining the entire 7th fleet and is the largest overseas U.S. Naval installation. It is considered one of the most strategically important bases in the U.S. military. Most categories of naval vessels are serviced there including command ships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers, and other forward-deployed ships.
With a mission of “anticipating and providing fleet service and support needs on demand,” it’s no surprise that the repair facility welcomed the NCMS Technology Showcase, leveraging the Commercial Technology for Maintenance Activities Program (CTMA) collaborative industry partners, with open arms. The base is challenged with providing extended service to their fleet in a high tempo environment, yet they don’t have access to all the latest technologies that their counterparts at domestic facilities do. When Peggy Hough, department head of the Continuous Improvement Office at Yokosuka found out about Technology Showcases, she jumped at the chance.
“When I attended the 2018 DoD Maintenance Symposium and saw all the technologies available, but that our maintainers don’t have access to at SRF, I knew we needed to organize an event where the innovative ideas could come to us. The response was fantastic and I’m hearing from our technicians about all the new techniques, gear, and equipment they’d like to test,” says Hough. “If it helps keep our fleet operationally ready, I’m on board!”
The event venue was festive with red and white striped banners, piped in 70s and 80s rock music, large fans to mitigate the heat, and scores of excited maintainers and operations experts to investigate the latest in innovative maintenance and sustainment technologies. A “no host” social at an all-you-can-eat restaurant that also featured a karaoke stage, capped a long, but productive showcase.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way the Technology Showcase turned out,” says Debbie Lilu, Director, CTMA Program with NCMS. “The support we received from the entire team including translators, operations staff, and all the maintainers who participated was beyond my expectations. I know that this was the first step in a long, and valuable relationship going forward.”
NCMS began hosting Technology Showcases in 2006 to demonstrate innovative, commercially-available maintenance and sustainment technologies to the military. The advantage is that these events are now hosted at military facilities, so the show comes directly to the audience.
The NCMS industry partners and their technologies that attended the Technology Showcase were:
Eclypse International/AWTS Wire testing
Hexagon/Sensors and software Hexagon-MI-CorporatePPT_Base-1708-
Temple Allen/Wing Top Sander Temple Allen TAI_SRS-8841_Wing-Top_Sander-small
Aptima/Confined Space Monitoring System Aptima A2T-Confined-Spaces-Monitoring-System
Spee3D/AI and Information Environment
Sanyo-Spectro/Fluid Analysis Spectro 3000_DataSheet_en
Maglogix/High Powered Magnets Generic-MX-flyer-V2 (002)
There were also several table top demonstrations from other U.S. Naval Repair Facilities from across the United States, including Puget Sound and Portsmouth Naval Shipyards. An opening session that included a briefing on NCMS and the CTMA Program kicked off the event with leadership from all departments attending.
According to Lilu there is a five-year support agreement in the works with several of the demonstrated technologies in initial phases of innovation to purchase. In the planning is a follow-on showcase incorporating all the U.S. military facilities in Japan.
“Our mission is to do everything we can to provide the best tools to our maintenance and sustainment experts to enable them to generate ready weapon systems” says Greg Kilchenstein, Director, Enterprise Maintenance Technology ODASD, Maintenance Policy & Programs. “This inaugural Technology Showcase at the Naval Repair Facility in Yokosuka, Japan did just that.”
For the maintainers and operational leadership, the Technology Showcase had a birthday party atmosphere with all the innovative technologies the gifts to be unwrapped.
“I can’t tell you how many times maintainers came up to me and told me I was their new best friend!” says Lilu. “If we can help make their work easier, then we’ve done our job.”
To learn more about the Technology Showcase in Yokosuka, Japan and find out about upcoming Showcase opportunities contact Debbie Lilu
NCMS would like to thank the numerous people from the Yokosuka Ship Repair Facility for their assistance in making this event a mammoth success. Without the help we received, the technology demonstrations, valuable relationship building, and connections for future collaborations wouldn’t have occurred. In particular, we’d like to thank the team from Code 100 Continuous Improvement Department supporting the Technology Showcase including:
Kazuhito Iwasaki (Mario)
A special thank you to shop X68 (carpenter shop) for allowing the use of their space and Code 950 for the support with tables, chairs, set up and break down.