posted by Lubber's Line @ 12:03 PM
The fading of General Dynamics will mark a lowpoint in our nation's submarine Force. If 20%of jobs are actually cut, as now believed, the word "decimated" accurately describe what will have happened. Portsmouth, as fine a yard as it may be, has not been an innovator in submarine safety, nor immune from the downside of bureaucratic cost-control foolishness that GD managed to marginalize through the negotiation process.
I spent many years in the yards on 3 boats...DMO, ERO in it entirity, and another ERO the last 6 months. Shipyard is hell for sailors to put it nicely. For the yard birds out there, you know what I am talkking about. Think about who REALLY runs the shipyards...NAVAL REACTORS (NR). Every boat in the yards (DMP, ERO new contruction, etc) get a visit from these "no personality" reps from NR. And they always find something wrong, ALWAYS! And if it's bad enough work stops and critques have to be made, more regulation is implemented which creats more administrative burden which in turn casuses delays. Of course NR says they are doing thier jobs and because shipyard workers are unionized, shipyard workers are never at fault - the fault always lies within the sailors and they are the casue of delays. Because of these more rules, policies, and regulation of a boat in the yards sailors are stretch thin. Three section duty is the norm with port and starboard of silly watchstations. (Topside watch and below decks not being silly). As a result, sailors get tired and start making mistakes. Let's not forget the manning policy for boats in the yards....first priority goes to boats who are deployed status, then boats getting ready to delploy, then operational boats, and finally boats in the yards. (Nukes are an exception...NR mafia ensures there are plenty of nukes for there boats in the yards. Yes I admit nukes go through the meat grinder as well, hence the $100k SRB, but they are manned 100% for the most part in my experence.)No for the shipyard. The normal shipyard hours 0820 to 1430 (give or take 10 min) at Portsmouth, NH, but I would assume the amount of works hours are the same at EB. Yard workers wait in thier shops at until the whistle blows at 0810. At that time they start getiing ready..gathering materials and walk to the boat. They finally make it there at 0820 when the whistle blows the second time indicating to start work. They may be on the boat at that time, but not ready to start work. Hell may workers are still in the shops until 0820. When they finally start work oit around 0845. Then there is the morning break of 15 minutes in which ends up being 30 minutes in reallity. Lunch the same way...they get an hour, which ends up being 90 min. The afternoon break as well. At the end of the day the whistle indicating to stop work. To the shipyard workers that means they have to be in the shop and ready to leave the shop the second the whistle blows. Many shipyard workers are in their car and when the whistle blows it like Indy 500 in the yard. Overall you may get 3 total hours of work per day from these shipyard workers. And they don't put up with the NR crap. No wonder shipyards are laying off people.
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