The re-established IMA is to train Mayport-based surface ship crews to perform shipboard maintenance and repairs.
In the past, IMAs served as a critical component of the training pipeline for fleet sailors, but in recent years funding cuts led to the downsizing of these facilities. Re-establishing the IMA in Mayport reflects the Navy's commitment to a "back-to-basics" approach to shipboard material readiness, the Navy said.
"This is not just about a ceremony, but rather we are embarking on an important mission that recognizes the significant revolution that has happened in how the Navy views surface ship maintenance," said Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy. "In a budget-constrained environment, the fleet has supported adding a total of 50 additional skilled personnel to this activity.
"By 2012, we will add another 85 military and civilians. We are expanding and bringing back the needed facilities to properly support the needs of the fleet."
While training at an IMA, sailors will receive on-the-job training within five primary product families, each of which will provide rating-specific training for sailors. This training will be in such areas as corrosion control, engine maintenance, component machining and combat systems repairs.
The Navy said substantial fiscal constraints had previously forced a reduction in ship manning and in surface ship support maintenance activities ashore. While the immediate results of restructuring created a cost savings, the longer-term, unintended consequence of not training sailors to maintain and repair shipboard equipment created a significant material-readiness void.
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