Ship Conversion and Maintenance
U.S. Marine Corps
In 1983, the U.S. Marine Corps needed to pre-position overseas a large amount of vital equipment such as combat vehicles, ammunition and supplies, but lacked the assets to do so. Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) proposed to convert five of its commercial containerships into roll-on, roll-off vessels for that mission. This conversion required the insertion of a 200-foot mid-body, two ro/ro decks, a stern ramp, cranes, a NAVAIR-certified flight deck and a 100-person accommodation house to each. Our team also added military command spaces, generators and chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) decontamination systems to meet the U.S. Marine corps requirements. Additionally, we provided heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and dehumidification to cargo holds to regulate temperatures for various commodities. After planning and executing this conversion, MLL was responsible for all facets of ship operation, maintenance and management, including the full spectrum of vessel life-cycle maintenance, lighterage M&R, INLS stowage modifications (ABLTS and UB) and operational oversight for all five ships. These ships were in active service in prepositioning support for the U.S. Department of Defense and saw action in all major conflicts between the mid-1980s and 2009, delivering support wherever needed around the world. MLL was a key player in the validation of the prepositioning concept by our active participation in Operation DESERT STORM. MLL was responsible for the maintenance, preservation and repair of Naval Support Element (NSE) lighterage/JLOTS equipment on MPS vessels in Diego Garcia, Guam, and Saipan and maintained this equipment on behalf of MSC for approximately ten years without a single major deficiency.
Ship Concept Design - Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB)
U.S. Marine Corps
In response to the Marine Corps’ view of seabasing as a national strategic imperative, MLL has developed an innovative approach to meet critical and emerging future seabasing needs. Our Afloat Forward Staging Base concept is a modular, capable and cost-effective commercial conversion solution. It meets military and emergency preparedness agencies’ requirements for aviation, ro/ro & dry cargo prepositioning, amphibious operations, C2/C4I, medical, safety/survivability and personnel accommodation. The modular construction provides design flexibility to support a wide variety of military and humanitarian missions. Its projected cost is 60%—75% less than comparable new build platforms. Modular design facilitates high efficiency in ship conversion, lower cost and expedient delivery. The baseline platforms for AFSB conversion, Maersk S-Class container ships, are available at an excellent value. The platform is a highly advanced, internationally proven commercial hull design from a 30-ship class Maersk AFSB concept cited as a viable solution by the Defense Science Board, the Naval Research Advisory Committee and the Government Accountability Office.
This new ship concept could boost the U.S. economy by creating or maintaining at least 2,200 engineering and management jobs in U.S. shipyards and incorporating more than $370 million in American materials. It would include components and labor from 24 U.S. states.
Since 2009, MLL has been responsible for the upkeep and readiness of a range of over 30 watercraft, including barges, tugs and various boats, stationed in Yokohama, Japan. These maritime assets are being kept to the highest standards of operational readiness (OR) for training, exercise, and contingency response requirements. MLL’s Mission Execution Plan for this contract allocates experienced and qualified personnel and resources on-site for program management and quality control. MLL’s responsibilities include program management, quality control, performing regular cyclic inspections and tests on all watercraft, documenting deficiencies and approving and supervising repairs.
Ship Design, Conversion, and Lifecycle Management
MLL is currently under contract with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) to maintain and repair two ammunition prepositioning ships. At the inception of this contract in 2000, MLL converted two commercial container ships (MV LTC JOHN U.D. PAGE and MV SSG EDWARD A. CARTER, JR.) to ammunition carriers for pre-positioning service under MSC time charter. MLL performed ancillary services including but not limited to: commercial vessel surveys, specification generation, design, engineering management, project management, shipyard management, logistic support evaluation, regulatory body coordination, and life cycle management. To convert the vessels, we red-lined existing drawings to generate specifications including:
- installation of 4 new cargo cranes per vessel
- design & installation of HVAC for all cargo holds and cocoons, and a new HVAC automated monitoring system
- creation and installation of two new cocoons
- installation of cargo hold smoke detection system and cargo hold sprinkler system
- upgrade of fresh water generation capacity with in-port generation capability
- installation of new incinerator for sludge disposal capacity
- installation of new small boat refueling station
- design, fabrication and installation of small boat landing/personnel transfer platform
In addition, we completed the main engine overhaul (stripping every cylinder and bearing), enrolled the vessel in the Under Water in Lieu of Dry-docking (UWILD) program, and implemented extensive ship’s life extension maintenance items.
During the operational phase of the Ammunition Prepositioning Ships contract, MLL performed the following tasks to ensure proper lifecycle management: vessel surveys for root cause failure analysis and repair/recovery plans, ISO safety audits, obsolescence management review, inventory control audits, major maintenance evolution projects such as generator overhauls, specification generation, project management, and regulatory coordination for a successful UWILD survey.