INSURVace to All

21 10 2012

Board of Inspection and Survey

The purpose of INSURV is to be a material inspection of the seaworthiness of a United States Naval Vessel. Inspectors are to come aboard for a brief amount of time to test the physical abilities of combat, engineering, communications and material conditions of the ship. This inspection is to give an overall grade to determine if the ship is capable of carrying out its mission and sail the open seas. Sounds like a reasonable idea on paper, but in reality, it’s a nightmare and a joke.
As a technician there are standard procedures that we go through when it comes to maintaining and fixing equipment onboard the ship. We have what is known as PMS (Planned Maintenance System) that gives us a series of checks for us to carry out to ensure the functionality of our gear. The periodicity of these checks determines how often we do them. If problems are discovered, we figure out what we need and order the parts through our supply system. This is where the problem starts a majority of the time. The problem isn’t started by our supply people, but by insufficient funding that leads to backorders and extreme wait times for the parts that keep us up and running. This is deemed unacceptable by inspectors, but the solutions to the problems are normally out of our hands and are reliant upon estimated shipping dates. Our equipment tends to break at the most inconvenient of times, but it’s to be expected when the gear is in constant use. When you ask yourself how we’re floundering in getting the sufficient funds that we need, the answer can be seen on paper. Best example that I can give is the cost of a bottle of Simple Green. Navy pays $25.00 a bottle through a government contract, whereas the typical civilian can go to Wal-Mart and purchase a bottle for $3.00 if it’s not on sale. I don’t know who thought that $25.00 a bottle was the deal of a lifetime, but they obviously don’t pay for their own meals.
To make up for the lack of sufficient funding, we have assessors come onboard to look at the general condition of the equipment. They poke, prod and look at just about everything to determine what’s in dire need of fixing. The orders that they put in are covered by another source of funding, and who knows where that source of money is coming from.
Currently, we’ve been playing the INSURV game for over a year now, and it’s been wearing me down to the point where my morale feels like it’s holding up the floorboards. Recently I’ve been finding myself dreading to go to work in the morning. The sound of the alarm letting me know that it’s time to get up fills me with disgust. It’s not because I’m having second thoughts about being in the Navy. It’s because of INSURV. We’re constantly reminded of the consequences for failing INSURV, and our upcoming leave periods are consistently at risk of being taken away should we fail. There is no such thing as weekends any more, and you’re lucky if you get to have Sunday off. I believe I’m experiencing what is known as “burnout,” and cannot wait until this nightmare is over with. INSURV, looks great on paper as a report, but runs everyone into the ground. God help us all.

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One response

20 12 2012
GM2(SW)Stoffel

i have been through insurv before…it was hell and a major burnout. our insurv was pushed twice and we were preparing for a year practically along with going underway and doing other stuff. it was a relief to see insurv wasnt anything like we were told it went smoothly and we got the highest score for DDG’s in 6 years. i was relieved to go home on leave and get ready for our upcoming deployment.

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