Gas Turbine engine experts from Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) and Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC) collaborated to remove four LM2500 Gas Turbine Main Engines from USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) in Pascagoula, Miss., last month.
Each RMC provided 10 Gas Turbine Technicians and Gas Turbine System Inspectors along with two civilian subject matter experts to complete the large-scale tasking.
According to Gas Turbine System Technician - Mechanical 1st Class Anthony Christy and Master Chief Petty Officer Gas Turbine System Technician Thomas Eicks of MARMC, this type of repair would normally take six weeks to complete. However, by working 14 to 16 hours per day six days a week, the teammates from the two RMCs were able to remove all four engines in just four weeks with no issues.
The innovative approach to using two Navy teams saved the government $1.15 Million over hiring a contractor, and by completing the evolution two weeks ahead of schedule saved another potential $575,000.
“We spent countless hours planning, meeting, working through logistical coordination for shipping the removed Gas Turbines, obtaining the Special Support Equipment conex boxes and making arrangements for travel, lodging and other necessary incidentals,” said Gas Turbine System Technician - Electrical 1st Class Francis Bochanski from SERMC.
“Every Lube Oil and Bleed Air Line had to be disconnected (more than 160 total) during the removal process. We were able to remove all of the turbine assemblies, their associated interferences, and place the modules in lay-up for the duration of the repair period.” said Bochanski.
The gas generators and the power turbines were removed and then loaded into specialized shipping containers or “cans.” They were then sent to a Depot Facility to be rebuilt.
Working together provided MARMC’s personnel with the opportunity to compare work processes and procedures. “It was an eye opening experience,” said Christy. “We at MARMC learned a lot from the way they performed their tasks and it’s my hope that they had similar take-a ways.”
Both RMCs worked through less-than ideal situations to complete this job as efficiently as possible with safety the primary concern throughout the evolution. “The end result of the SERMC and MARMC tag-team effort was the removal of all engines with zero safety mishaps or self-imposed delays, two weeks ahead of a very aggressive timeline.” said Bochanski.
Christy came away impressed with the planning and overall execution of the change out by both teams. “Coordination with the shipyard and the availability of assets for usage of equipment like cranes, rigging gear, etc. – put some potential roadblocks in our path, but through the perseverance of the SERMC and MARMC teams we were able to make the best of a non-ideal situation. It was a good experience for everyone involved.”
The entire restoration and modernization effort is expected to complete in approximately 24-months.