Event: On 28 February 2023, the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG) hosted a virtual forum on “NAVSEA Expeditionary Maintenance Processes and Actions”.
Purpose: The purpose of this forum was to discuss new expeditionary processes and technologies being developed and demonstrated within the NAVSEA community. As noted during the forum, many of these capabilities are applicable to the other Military Services also.
Welcome: Ray Langlais, OSD-MR, welcomed everyone to the forum and provided a brief overview of the agenda, while also emphasizing the significance, challenges, and impact that expeditionary maintenance has within the DoD sustainment community.
Administrative: There were 68 people in attendance on the open forum. The presentations, along with questions and answers, were conducted through Zoom.Gov which provided a well-used chat capability for comments and Q&A.
Navy Expeditionary Sustainment and Repair (NESAR) an Overview – Brett Anderson (NAVSEA) described the NESAR strategy as “find and field technology that keeps Navy assets in the field and mission capable”, to include integrating disparate technology efforts to form collective holistic solutions. He explained the NESAR principals to include “Every technology needs to have a “day job” and not be a “break glass if…”. Brett then provided some NESAR figures to include the total number of projects, the fielded projects, number of contract vehicles, and cost share benefit. He concluded with a description of the four NESAR focus areas for FY22: Visualization, Command and Control Aids (C2), Forward Manufacturing, and Expeditionary Maintenance.
Navy REPTX ’22 – Lessons Learned, Next Steps and Wrap Up – Phillip Borrelli (Command Strategies) provided an overview of the Repair Technology Engagement Exercise (Navy REPTX) which was a two-week exercise, from Aug 22-Sep 2, involving 65 participants onboard a Self Defense Test Ship to test and evaluate technology to expand expeditionary maintenance and sustainment capabilities. REPTX accomplishments included: validated current technology solution’s efficacy and readiness to provide immediate benefit to the Navy, demonstrated the ability of ready technology to adapt at the speed of the need, and showed how eager technology developers and the industrial base are to rise to the challenges facing the Navy. Phil noted that REPTX taught us to propose clearly defined problems to an industry that thrives on overcoming challenges and let them bring solutions with ready capability.
NESAR Visualization – Dan Stanley (NAVSEA) noted that, historically, DoD organizations approach needs and solutions from their own unique vantage point, i.e., by ship, platform, facility, or organization, not from a mission, operational, and sustainment holistic perspective. The result is that minimum viable products are being fielded with success, but only in limited applications/pilots. He then went on to describe whole ship visualization with the aim to field faster for broader effect by fielding a suite of solutions that refresh often and add capability. He also noted the decision to lease vs buy as leasing allows custom deliverables including training, no sustainment tail, technical obsolescence is on the provider, replace vs. repair, a built-in ability to renew, and leasing avoids a capital investment plan. He concluded with a visualization strategy for ships and a list of next steps.
REPTX – Distance Support – Omar Ramos (NAVSEA) talked about using augmented reality (AR) for troubleshooting and remote subject matter expert (SME) assistance. He explained how AR communication methods enable distance support allowing crews to conduct repairs assisted in real time by remote SMEs, and that AR systems also enable hands-free repair procedures for crews and SMEs. Omar also noted that an automated system for extracting and transmitting equipment error codes will allow rapid assessment and resolution of problems, since error code extraction requires SME support. He then reviewed the transition plan, exercise evaluation criteria and the FY23 plan of action to include the upcoming REPTX Distant Support on 21-23 March.
Expeditionary Cold Spray Repairs – Dan Stanley (NAVSEA) described ship-based cold spray repair applications to include equipment setup inboard, cold spray application, and finish machining. The discussed shipboard cold spray repair application lessons learned to include:
- Nitrogen generator and Conex require environmental conditioning for cold environments.
- Have a plan to secure Conex containers each shift from a power standpoint.
- Containers for transporting equipment shipboard need to clear thru a hatch.
- Integrate more soft patches into dust collection enclosure to expedite assembly shipboard.
- Have duplicate skill sets to allow continuous flow of work/avoid single point failures.
- Have an uninterrupted power supply unit in line to the robot.
- More durable dust collection duct traveling thru hatches.
Q&A – A Q&A occurred after each briefer finished their presentation. The slides cleared for public release will be posted on the JTEG website with these minutes.
Closing Comments: Ray Langlais thanked the presenters and participants for their attendance and all the work being done to support expeditionary maintenance processes and actions in support of DoD sustainment operations.
- Obtain copies of remaining cleared presentations once they are approved to post to a public website, and post to the JTEG website at http://jteg.ncms.org/.
Next JTEG Meeting: The next scheduled JTEG virtual forum is 28 March 2023, 1:00 – 3:00 pm EST. The topic is “Drones/Unmanned Systems Supporting Sustainment”.
POC this action is Ray Langlais, firstname.lastname@example.org, (571) 633-8019