By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Submarine Tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), deployed a fly-away maintenance team to Yokosuka Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) from Guam to support repair work on a ship forward-deployed to Japan.
Thirty-one ship repair and maintenance Sailors traveled to Yokosuka to support and perform repairs on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) on Jan. 2 for approximately two weeks of work.
“We brought guys from all different walks, as far as the ‘HT’ [Hull Maintenance Technician] rating goes,” said Chief Hull Maintenance Technician Joshua Borel. “We have welders doing brazing jobs and brazers doing lagging. HT jobs are very diverse, and we get to do all kinds of jobs all over the ship. When something breaks and nobody knows how to fix it, we figure it out.”
The Frank Cable fly-away team augmented the SRF workers to allow them to continue work on other projects.
“While SRF is doing their work, we are also taking care of major jobs so that we can take workload stress off of them for other things,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Douglas Niewiarowicz. “Right now, I am doing a lot of weld repairs, putting new plates on the deck.”
Although members of the Frank Cable fly-away team are used to performing maintenance on Submarines, this gave many of them a valuable experience to broaden their skills.
“We normally work on submarines,” said Machinery Repairman 3rd Class Rosalba Navarro. “This is my first tour [on a] sub tender, so going on a destroyer or a carrier definitely gives us an opportunity to learn more and be of valued service to the Navy.”
This was not the first time COMSUBPAC maintenance specialists have traveled to Japan to support the forward deployed naval forces. Last year, a team from USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) completed repair support at SRF-JRMC both in Yokosuka and Fleet Activities Sasebo.
Frank Cable’s ship repair and maintenance Sailors have supported ships and submarines across the Western Pacific region. The Sailors have also performed repairs throughout the South Pacific and Asia in support of forward-deployed vessels.
“These guys are doing great,” said Ens. Anthony Seda, Public Affairs Officer onboard John S. McCain. “They are turning jobs around in a couple days or even a couple of weeks at most. They do good and quality work at the same time.”