International Teamwork Keeps ESSEX Mission Ready

USS Essex (LHD 2) Public Affairs

Dedicated citizens of Cleveland , Ohio joined forces with Japanese partners 6500 miles away in Yokosuka , Japan to keep USS Essex (LHD 2) mission ready.

When an infrequently used but important piece of propulsion plant machinery was found to be inoperable during equipment checks, Essex engineers contacted the Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Yokosuka for assistance. SRF Yokosuka is operated by the U.S. Navy with a repair force of more than 2,000. Approximately 1,800 of the SRF repair force are Japanese Master Labor contract workers.

The SRF Repair Officer, Cmdr. David Price, determined that the repair was within in the capability of his workers if the parts could be acquired. The SRF force “is prepared to work around the clock once we have the parts,” said Cmdr. Price. Obtaining the parts became an obstacle when it was discovered that the critical item, a complex, specially- machined gear was not available in the U.S. Navy stock system.

Complicating the repair effort was Super Typhoon Yagi, which was bearing down on Yokosuka . “Essex will steam out of Yokosuka if the storm approaches,” said Cmdr. Dave Allison, Material Officer for Commander Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet, “but it just makes sense to get this worked on now while the ship is at the most repair-capable facility in the Western Pacific.”

The decision was made to contact a company in the U.S. to help with replacement of the gear. The workers at Cleveland Gear Company in Cleveland , Ohio , basically on the other side of the world, manufactured and shipped the gear to Japan in fewer than 72 hours. The company's engineering team continued the repair effort with technical advice and recommendations, even with the time difference between Japan and Ohio .

With the gear in hand, the Japanese workers of SRF and Essex engineers worked overnight to assemble the gearbox and install it on Essex, completing the repair in just 20 hours.

Cleveland Gear's Jim Krava told Capt. Brian Donegan, Essex ' commanding officer, “Our employees were honored to participate in the machining of the gear and we all wish you and your crew good luck.”

“This was truly an international effort that showcased the teamwork of our U.S. and Japanese supporters pulling together to support our common goals,” stated Donegan.

Essex is the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious assault ship and is the flagship for the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group out of Sasebo , Japan.

 

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Cleveland Gear Company employees who built the replacement gear for USS Essex (LHD 2), from left to right: Gary Kacirek, Shop Foreman, Lynn Bell, the machinist who hobbed the gear teeth, Paul Nemcheck, machinist who drilled the gear, Pam Owen, Quality Control Inspector, and, Jim Schmitz, Shop Foreman.

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Cleveland Gear Company's Lynn Bell, the machinist who hobbed the gear teeth, checks the gear. The gear was manufactured for USS Essex (LHD 2) after the original one needed to be replaced.

 

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The gear that was manufactured by Cleveland Gear Company for USS Essex (LHD 2) on a gear checker, where the gear teeth are checked against a master gage for proper contact pattern. The original gear was hobbed and checked against this same master gage years ago.

 

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060919-N-0234S-024  Yokosuka , Japan , Sep. 19, 2006 - Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Yokosuka workers look over a piece from USS Essex (LHD 2) propulsion plant machinery that was found to be inoperable during equipment checks .  A gear within the assembly needed to be replaced and SRF Yokosuka, along with Essex ' engineers, worked around the clock to fix it so the ship could carry on with its  mission.  Essex is the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious assault ship and is the flagship for the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group out of Sasebo , Japan . (U.S. Navy photo by CWO3 Brian P. Schenkel)

 

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060919-N-0234S-019  Yokosuka , Japan , Sep. 19, 2006 - Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Yokosuka Japanese Master Labor contract workers lift the inoperable gear out of it's housing.  The gear was remanufactured by Cleveland Gear Company, Cleveland , Ohio , and replaced in USS Essex (LHD 2) within days after its removal.  Essex is the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious assault ship and is the flagship for the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group out of Sasebo , Japan .  (U.S. Navy photo by CWO3 Brian P. Schenkel)

 

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060919-N-0234S-021  Yokosuka, Japan, Sep. 19, 2006 – Several Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Yokosuka workers begin work on a piece from USS Essex (LHD 2) propulsion plant machinery that was found to be inoperable during equipment checks.  A gear within the assembly needed to be removed and replaced.  SRF Yokosuka, along with Essex ' engineers, worked around the clock to fix it so the ship could carry on with its mission.  Essex is the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious assault ship and is the flagship for the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group out of Sasebo , Japan .  (U.S. Navy photo by CWO3 Brian P. Schenkel)

 

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060915-N-4207M-005  Yokosuka , Japan , Sep. 22, 2006 . Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Yokosuka Japanese Master Labor contract workers use chains and pullies to replace a repaired piece of propulsion plant machinery to USS Essex' (LHD 2) Aft Main Machinery Room.  The part was originally removed the prior Tuesday, the new gear arrived Thursday and SRF Yokosuka workers and Essex engineers worked around the clock to get the ship underway on Saturday, Sep. 23, 2006 .  Essex is the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious assault ship and is the flagship for the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group out of Sasebo , Japan .  (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jhoam M Montolio)