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REAL TIME MAINTENANCE ONBOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN

21 Feb 02. A new computer-based aircraft work-order system has beenninstalled in the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), the ship’s aircraft intermediate maintenance department (AIMD), in Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 squadrons and in the air operations department (See BATTLESPACE January 2002 issue, BAE SYSTEMS feature).

According to Marine Corps Master Sgt. George Reynolds, Space and Naval Warfare Systems (SPAWAR), the new version of Naval Aviation Logistics Command Management Information System (NALCOMIS) allows the respective departments and squadrons to log repairable parts and maintain squadron aircraft status database in a real-time basis.

“Since it’s done in real-time, commanders will know right away when the maintenance work orders are completed,” said Reynolds. “We are coordinating with the information technicians on the ship in order to connect the system to the ship’s LAN (local-area network) and with AIMD’s server. Each squadron brought aboard one computer to act as their server for the new system. It should only take about five hours to install and configure the system.”

As for coming aboard the ship, the SPAWAR personnel are making sure the new program is online and ready to go.

“We are here to make sure the squadrons are able to operate the system. The primary purpose is for aviation maintenance tracking. It’s a Windows-based program, unlike the old legacy system that the squadrons were using. The hardware for the old system was deteriorating. The new system allows for real-time tracking,” Reynolds said.

SPAWAR implemented the system for the squadrons that currently have the system, and the crew makes sure that there are no problems and provide necessary training. The idea is to get away from paperwork and do it quickly, electronically.

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. David Satchell of SPAWAR adds that installing the new database is essential, but making sure those who are using the program can use it to the best of their ability. “Our primary purpose here is to implement the new program so the squadrons can send and receive information to the intermediate level electronically.”

“We are also helping the squadrons implement the system. I think it’s going to speed up the process with just a click and point. The Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) personnel will get a service record in print form as well as electronically; the item is repaired or replaced and then they will inform the respective squadron electronically through the new system,” added Satchell.

The system allows AIMD and squadrons to manage all facets of aviation maintenance. The system is very similar to OMMS-NG (Organizational Maintenance Management System-Next Generation). The functions required by AIMD and aviation supply are combined into one system which share a common database.

The common database drastically improves the communication and response times associated with AIMD maintenance. All users are provided a real-time snapshot of parts availability and current maintenance status, which in turn, allows AIMD and S-6 (aviation supply) to plan accordingly.

NALCOMIS is Windows-based, optimised uses a drag-and-drop interface with pull-down menus. In keeping with the “paperless Navy,” most information is no longer printed and displayed on a status board. Rather, the information is just a mouse-click away.

The previous version, known as NALCOMIS Legacy, required the use of conversation codes, a four-digit alphanumeric code that would tell the system what function was required to perform; this made using NALCOMIS difficult. Optimized NALCOMIS was designed from the outset to be user friendly.

The bottom line, is improved mission capability. The most significant contribution is the speed at which the maintenance cycle can now be completed. The use of this system allows AIMD and S-6 to work closer together than in the past; the result being the expedient repair and replacement of broken parts.”

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