The Navy has a large backlog of surface ship maintenance it is trying to dig out of; that’s not new. And while the sea service and ship repair industry are making some progress in cutting back on administrative and other burdens that slow down maintenance availabilities, the contractors here in San Diego are so backed up that the Navy has received zero bids for several recent maintenance availabilities.
The Navy’s West Coast hub remains one of the most challenging fleet concentration areas for combatant and amphibious ship maintenance work: for the 45 ships homeported here, just four dry docks are available. Couple the limited space with delays due to poor planning, material not showing up on time, expanding work package scope and more, and the San Diego waterfront has the potential to create a lot of headaches for ships in repair and the fleet operators planning to deploy them.
Fleetwide, the Navy has about 46 ships in CNO availabilities right now, with more than 100 in the planning process. The Navy and its industry partners are only completing about 36 percent of maintenance availabilities on time, Rear Adm. Tom Anderson, the commander of the Navy Regional Maintenance Centers that coordinate this surface ship work, said last month at the American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Fleet Maintenance and Modernization conference.