Recognizing National Quality Month
Published November 9, 2022
October was National Quality Month. Newport News Shipbuilding’s Quality Team recognized the first round of “Quality Craftsman” winners for the month: James Mertens (X42), Charlie Jack (X43) and Kenny Naugle (X43).
Mertens has been a key contributor during the startup phase of New Construction. He has been instrumental in the installation of magazine sprinkler piping and was one of the first mechanics to install the new adjustable hangers. The first five decks Mertens and his mates worked on were the first of many that will use the adjustable hanger in lieu of the legacy hangers. Even with new processes in place, all five units came in ahead of schedule with zero defects. His attention to detail and compliance with approved technical procedures puts him in a class of his own.
Not only does Mertens ensure first-time quality is met, he also trains newer shipbuilders and emphasizes the need for safety, quality, cost and schedule.
Pictured from left are X42 Foreman and Craft Instructor Aaron Wikle, James Mertens and K47 General Foreman Greggory Vick.During reassembly of the main sea water pump coupling during the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) planned incremental availability (PIA), shipbuilders found the spacer nut titanium anti-rotation pin had been sheared off. Two senior X43 mechanics, Charlie Jack and Kenny Naugle, were called upon from John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) to assess the situation. Both felt they could get the pin out of the hole.
They drilled several small holes in the pin and were able to file and pick the pin out with no damage to the spacer nut. Jack and Naugle completed the job within two days, allowing the pump to be completely reassembled. Their efforts averted a three-to-four-week delay in schedule.
“Charlie and Kenny are subject matter experts in their craft and they are the type of employees we need more of,” said K47 Lead General Foreman Steve Monfalcone.
As a reminder, O06 accepts nominations at [email protected] year-round and recognizes quality craftsmen every quarter in addition to National Quality Month.