By Mineman 1st Class Michael Buck, Navy Reserve Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Two Public Affairs
Navy Reserve Sailors from Navy Reserve Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Two (NR LCSRON 2) made history by supporting overseas planned maintenance availabilities (PMAV) with Maintenance Execution Teams during the first-ever deployment of a littoral combat ship to U.S. 5th Fleet and U.S. 6th Fleet. More than two dozen Reserve Sailors from Reserve Maintenance Execution Teams (RMET) traveled overseas to conduct maintenance for USS Sioux City (LCS 11).
Implementing METs is a key initiative for Commander, Naval Surface Forces. METs provide Sailor-centric teams in forward locations performing maintenance during deployed operations. These teams provide specialized assistance from Sailors on station, reducing the need for contractors to conduct maintenance and repairs.
In line with Chief of the Navy Reserve’s 2022 Fighting Instructions, RMET Sailors train frequently aboard Freedom-variant littoral combat ships in Mayport, FL to achieve Maintenance and Material Management (3M) and Damage Control (DC) qualifications. Sailors assigned to NR LCSRON Two’s six RMET detachments provide homeport expeditionary maintenance as well as antiterrorism/force protection support to LCSRON Two’s growing fleet of ships.
“Overall, our integration with the AMET was excellent,” said Senior Chief Hull Maintenance Technician Neil Prowse, NR LCSRON 2’s officer-in-charge for the first PMAV. “There was a lot of experience used from both components to ensure this mission would be successful.”
In Souda Bay, the blended METs performed over 660 hours of maintenance, completing more than 500 maintenance requirements, both preventative and corrective. The required tasks completed by the MET equated to roughly 95 percent of the Sailor-assigned items and were critical to Sioux City getting underway on time and in shape for its planned transit to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AO).
Once the ship arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet AO, RMET Sailors deployed to support Sioux City’s second PMAV in Bahrain. When operational tasking delayed the ship’s planned arrival in port, RMET Sailors dynamically reoriented. By proactively engaging Bahrain port operations and directly with ships on the waterfront, RMET Sailors found meaningful employment by supporting USS Devastator (MCM 6) while waiting for Sioux City’s arrival. In total, they provided nearly 500 hours of maintenance support to Devastator and completed 213 equipment validations. Once Sioux City arrived, RMETs completed over 200 additional hours of maintenance requirements.
“Our teams, Reserve and Active Sailors working side-by-side, got Sioux City where every warship belongs and kept it there,” said Capt. Dave Rewkowski the commander of NR LCSRON Two. “I’m incredibly proud of what our Sailors are doing. We’re delivering presence.”
The success of these overseas PMAVs and the unexpected events in U.S. 5th Fleet highlight the capability of reserve Sailors to conduct expeditionary maintenance on multiple platforms. CDR Steven “Scott” Whitworth, Commanding Officer of USS Sioux City Blue Crew, noted, “Bottom line, the Reserve Component impact to our PMAVs since being deployed in the C5F and C6F AoRs has been invaluable. In the future, I see both [Active and Reserve Component] METs playing a much larger role in supporting Freedom Variant LCS on deployment and easing or eliminating the need for contract-based maintenance.”
Navy Reserve Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (NR LCSRON) Two is headquartered in Mayport, Florida with Reserve Maintenance Execution Teams (RMET) in Atlanta, Mayport, Florida, and Fort Worth, Texas, and subordinate detachments in Great Lakes, Michigan New York City, and Tampa, Florida.