The Navy is activating 1,629 reservists to help reduce a carrier and submarinemaintenance backlog at its public shipyards that is exacerbated by COVID-19, according to Naval Sea Systems Command.
Nearly a quarter of the production workforce at the Navy’s four public shipyards are unable to come in to work due to being deemed “high risk” for catching COVID-19, NAVSEA said in a news release.
Virus mitigation efforts include expanded safety leave for those who are high risk, which keeps the workforce healthy but slows the rate of production at the yards.
The reservists sent to work at the shipyards will start arriving in July and will have one-year orders, which can be adjusted if needed. They are part of the Navy’s Surge Maintenance program, established in 2005, and will supplement current civilian shipyard staff.
This is the SurgeMain program’s largest reservist mobilization. “Our sailors are electricians, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, plumbers, hydraulic technicians, mechanics, machinists, carpenters, welders and more,” Capt. Michael MacLellan, the national director of SurgeMain, said in the NAVSEA statement. “Many of our people have prior experience at the shipyard where they’re being sent, down to the specific shop where they will be working alongside the shipyard’s organic civilian workforce.”Well, huh.
Note: Old photo of NNSY