BIW Fist Bump

Every day, BIW shipbuilders are doing exceptional work. Let’s celebrate it. Like one athlete complimenting another on a nice play, show your respect for standout performance by giving a co-worker a fist bump. Send details to

View our BIW ‘Fist Bumps’ below:

Way to go, DDG 118 Hook Up and Combat Test Electricians and MCS Technicians!

The teams took a project that can take up to a month and achieved it in less than a week.

Who? Hook-up Electricians Tim Averell and Lyman Condon; combat test Electricians Mike Elwell, Bill Stees, Al Swaim, Jess Theriault, and Corey Hodgdon; Machinery Control Systems Technicians Frank Zimmerman and Pete MacDonald.

What? During a bilge system demonstration on DDG 118, water leaking into two terminal boxes caused a problem with one of the gas turbines. The fix required replacing and hooking up both turbine interface boxes. Installing one typically takes a month.

How? Beginning as soon as the ship arrived back in port Feb. 5, Tim and Lyman began stripping out the boxes and putting new components on the conductors. Then Mike, Bill, Al, Jess, and Corey took turns reconnecting the boxes. Frank and Pete tested each connection. After working long hours through the weekend, the teams finished the repair in four days. Great effort!

Way to go, Jim, Sam and Kent!

Jim, Sam and Kent developed a database that houses all Government Furnished Information (GFI) in one location.

Who? D82 Configuration and Data Management Jim Gourhan, Sam Hayes and Kent Leavitt.

What? GFI information was spread across different systems, with no single place to locate necessary information, slowing down important research by System and Functional Engineers, as well as D87 Design’s Library Parts and Electric teams.

How? The D82 team heard the voice of their Engineering partners and the need to have all Government Furnished Information in one location to reduce time searching for missing data. They spent months identifying, normalizing and formatting information, developing queries and forms, writing code and ensuring accuracy. Engineering now has one database that holds all the pertinent information that relates to GFI, including drawing, revisions, data code, installation control drawing and equipment level, along with tracking all deliverables and providing current status. Job well done!

Way to go, Reilly, Tony and Richie!

They incorporated ‘bump’ instructions into the plans for the doors made by Structural Fabrication, improving first-time quality.

Who? Designers Reilly Egan, Tony Mercier and Richie Bell.

What? Doors are critical structural components of Navy ships, designed to withstand intense water pressure and heat without leaking or failing. In constructing more than 100 different types of doors made for the Navy, Door Shop mechanics have relied on memory or notes in a little black book for the placement of ‘bumps,’ indentations that are pressed into a door to add necessary rigidity. The incorrect placement of those bumps would lead to a door not meeting quality standards and having to be remade at considerable expense. Getting it right the first time improves schedule and cost for our customer.

How? Reilly, Tony and Richie took mechanic suggestions and developed a proposed part sketch enhancement for production that incorporated the precise location and dimensions of the bumps into work plans for the doors. Once confirmed, the group updated each of the sketch plans to include the new information. Nice job working across teams to improve our product!

Way to go, Bezie!

When Pipe Test supervisor and crew were temporarily sent home after contact tracing for potential COVID-19 exposure, Safety Engineer Bezie Starkey helped get a test completed so critical work could continue.

Who? Safety Engineer Bezie Starkey.

What? The Pipe Shop had a critical segment on DDG 120 that needed testing. Then, most of the crew working the test and their supervisor were sent home because of potential COVID-19 exposure. The pressure was on because a vendor was leaving in a couple days and couldn’t reschedule for months.

How? Bezie, a former PDP, volunteered to help out the Pipe Test team and their backup supervisor. When that supervisor was sent home for potential coronavirus exposure, Bezie stepped up and led the team to complete the test so work with the vendor could be completed on time. Great dedication!

Way to go, DDG 118’s Insulating Team!

The Insulating Team for Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) quickly replaced damaged insulation in time for Acceptance Trials inspections by the Navy.

Who? Front Line Supervisor Adam Cox, Asst. Foremen Bill Richardson and Danny Card, I02 Shipboard Mechanics and the Pad Shop.

What? On Friday, Jan. 22, crews preparing for INSURV inspections on DDG 118 (Hull 520) intake/uptakes discovered insulation had been damaged on bulkheads, ventilation and pads around the exhaust in four compartments. The situation needed to be addressed before inspections, starting Tuesday, Jan. 26.

How? Adam and Bill led a team of ships completion Insulators through the weekend to rip out and replace the bulkhead and vent insulation while Danny coordinated which pads were needed so the pad shop could start remaking them. At the time of INSURV inspections Jan. 26, they had replaced all but three sets of pads and the remaining were completed the following day. The immediate action and dedication by the team meant intake/uptakes were ready for complete inspection.

Way to go, team of CROF Designers!

The small group from D86 spent several months gathering ship check information in Japan needed to complete design work back in Maine.

Who? A six-member team of CROF-based Designers: Tevirn Ambrose, Ross Anthony, Anthony DuPlayee, Beau Elwell, Bob Schenberger, Nate Spring.

What? Life Cycle Services Designers at BIW needed up-to-date ship check information from 7th Fleet ships based in Yokosuka, Japan to create design packages for ship alterations. Japan’s COVID-19 travel restrictions require mandatory quarantine of U.S. visitors.

How? This summer, the volunteer team of Designers – which was smaller than would normally tackle a job like this – conducted ship checks on a number of DDG 51s in Japan. The team quarantined in a Tokyo hotel for 23 days before they could visit the base. There, working long hours, they were able to gather the needed design information for their colleagues back home. In addition, Nate and Anthony extended their stay and Anthony stayed overseas through the holidays to help the BIW Yokosuka team with new tasking.

Way to go, Ernel, Derek and Kelsey!

They developed a new process helping people exposed to COVID-19 resume working if they have tested negative for the virus.

Who? Information Technology Specialist Ernel Galsim, Application Developer Derek Marshall and Benefits Specialist Kelsey Lekberg.

What? We need all available shipbuilders here at work as we continue to accelerate our pace of construction to meet our shipyard goals. Unfortunately, the number of COVID-19 cases across Maine and at BIW has increased significantly. Testing and monitoring can speed up the safe return of employees who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus, and a new process and tool was needed to make this possible.

How? The team identified the requirements, worked through shutdown and deployed the tool and process on the launch date. Thanks to their effort, shipbuilders have a mechanism enabling them to come back to work safely and sooner to help us reach our collective goals.

Way to go, Avery and the first shift Outfit Fabrication Machinist backfills!

After temporarily losing the Machine Operations crew from Outfit Fabrication one afternoon to COVID-19 infection and contact tracing, Avery Tavares stepped in to organize backfills and keep this critical facility fed.

Who? Area Supervisor Avery Tavares coordinated with other Fabrication facilities and Machinists Devin Ford, Andrew Bryant, Michael McMahan, Steve Hinson, Ernie Bergeron and Brandon Chickering.

What? Potential COVID-19 exposure led to sending home most of Outfit Fabrication’s first shift MO4 crew one afternoon. Without Machine Operations, the facility would not have enough work to feed the assembly lanes, jeopardizing our efforts to get fabrication lates to zero.

How? When Avery heard we were sending most of the Machine Operators home, he came across the street from Structural Fabrication and offered to help. He identified critical machines and the right crew to backfill to keep Outfit Fabrication fed. Machine Operators showed up the next working day, brushed up on machine skills, and kept the facility functioning through the disruption.

Way to go, Tammy Jawdat, Andrew Rossignol, and Andrew Arnall!

Overcame COVID-19 foreign travel hurdles to get Planning Yard personnel into Spain, which currently prohibits U.S. visitors, for an important ship check.

Who? Project Coordinator, Travel, Tammy Jawdat, Designer Andrew Rossignol and On Site Representative Andrew Arnall.

What? Designers with BIW’s Planning Yard needed to conduct a ship check for a pending maintenance availability for a ship in Rota, Spain, but were challenged by travel restrictions.

How? The team obtained approvals through a US Government Clearance System, a first in connection with Spain, then coordinated COVID-19 testing to meet Spain’s strict guidelines, delivering results just as travelers were leaving.

Way to go, Brandon, Phil, Dan, Matt, Joe, Fred and Jim!

The Hull 520 Decking Crew worked with Engineering, Liaison and SUPSHIP Bath Engineering to reduce the electrical grade matting that will be required for DDG 118 and follow ships.

Who? The DDG 118 Decking Crew including Brandon Gardner and Phil Trott, Area Supervisor Dan Hartsig, Hull Manager Matt Ames, Electrical Engineer Joe Tomm, Corrosion Engineer Fred Denson and Liaison Electrical Designer Jim Fleming.

What? Electrical grade matting is required on the deck at electrical workbenches, and operating and servicing areas of electrical equipment. As the matting installation work was being accomplished on DDG 118, Brandon, Phil and the entire Decking Crew realized the scope of work was not well defined. Over the years, the amount of matting installed per ship had crept up due to different interpretations of Ship Specifications.

How? Dan and Matt asked for Engineering assistance to review requirements and provide clear production information for completion of DDG 118 and follow ships. Joe and Fred researched the requirements. Jim and Production joined in a compartment by compartment walk to understand the scope of the issue. Clarifying requirements and updating production information for follow ships is in process. “This will pay dividends in the future as we try to speed up our ship building,” DDG 118 Hull Manager Matt Ames said. “Great outcome for everyone.”

Way to go, Curtis!

Curtis changed the culture around Government Property – BIW-managed equipment, tools and special test equipment – to meet the expectations of our Navy customer.

Who? BIW’s Government Property Administrator, Curtis DeCosta

What? The Supervisor of Shipbuilding Bath recently approved a Property Management System relating to Government owned, BIW-managed equipment, tools and special test equipment following a yearlong effort to establish acceptable Government Property operations. Curtis’ leadership and dedication to getting BIW “back on track” were instrumental, as demonstrated during a successful SSBA follow-up audit in October.

How? Curtis worked directly with all of the Custodians of Government Property to establish standardized records for all movement, use and preventive maintenance. Curtis changed the culture around Government Property, optimized business practices, created a cross-functional team to manage Government Property and standardized work for the BIW Custodians.

Way to go, Lee!

Quickly converted a large number of computer design drawings into files that could be corrected to reflect the actual conditions in production.

Who? Designer Lee Wong  

What? The FEPA Team, which is charged with correcting design drawings based on input from the deckplates, needed to update a large batch of files some of which hadn’t been corrected since 1992 with DDG 83.

How? Lee went the extra mile by using specialized software to convert 124 CADD files for the FEPA team in a single day, so drawings could be updated digitally and not individually by hand.

Way to go, team working the ESAB plate burning machines at Structural Fabrication!

By keeping the area beneath the three ESAB burning machines clean, the team can see maintenance issues earlier, recover small parts that then don’t have to be recut and get waste steel moved to recycling.   

Who? Yard Rigger Darren Jones, Structural Fitters Brad Hoskins and Stu Hull and Supervisor Ryan Bisson

What? Finished plates at the south elevators need to have remnant steel cut up to be scrapped. The cutting process generates slag and dross. Smaller parts also can fall between pallet slats and onto the floor and get mixed with scrap. Cleaning this area on a regular basis means fewer remade parts, and better visibility to identify machine issues like hydraulic leaks.

How? Bisson’s team developed a safe and efficient process for moving pallets off the south elevator into the cutting cell and cleaning the area under the elevator with a crane-mounted magnet. The small parts can be picked out and the waste moved to a scrap container.

Way to go, Chris and Chad!

A leaking valve between the Distributive Seawater system and the ocean intake beneath Lyndon B. Johnson, Hull 604, needed to be repaired in cooperation with a dive team, which had to seal the intake from outside the hull.   

Who? Pipefitters Chris Potter and Chad Burwood

What? Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) had a persistent leak in a sea chest valve which regulates water intake from the ocean into the DSW system. To fix the outstanding issue the valve would need to be removed and affected parts replaced.

How? A dive team installed a cover plate over the hull opening underwater to block the flow of water into the DSW system in Main Machinery Room 2. Work had to be at a point in the tide cycle when current was reduced. At that point, the system was pumped down and Chris and Chad disassembled the isolation valve following a detailed job/safety plan. The valve was safely removed, inspected, cleaned, and reinstalled with new gaskets and hardware. The system was safely returned to a watertight state in only a matter of hours.

Way to go, Jim!

Following a sudden problem with the storage system housing our Linux computer servers, Jim stayed calm under pressure and worked methodically to restore all computers on the system.

Who? Server Administrator Jim Rochette

What? After an issue developed with the storage array housing Linux servers, we needed to systematically shut down and turn on all Linux computer systems on this array, which is relied on by everything from the Catia design platform to all the Oracle databases.

How? Each BIW Linux server had to be shut down in a specific order, then restarted in a set order, all while users needed access to parts of the system. Jim knew what needed to happen and how to organize the response which started early in the day and ran into the evening. Orderly and logical execution of the plan reduced the impact on users who depend on the system.

Way to go, Dave, Steve, Alicia, Ross, Colby, Shawn and Owen!

Nesting and Lofting teams have maintained zero late nests – the pattern of shapes to be cut from each plate of steel – in support of Structural Fabrication.

Who? Work Leaders Dave Gagne and Ross Cantara, Designers Steve Kittle, Alicia Tilsley, Colby Malia, Shawn Lafferty and Sr. Project Engineer Owen Van Benthuysen

What? Monitor scheduled need for different parts, ensure proper geometry, and validate material requirements while reacting to late-breaking, urgent shop floor requests. On-time nesting is essential so Structural Fabrication has zero lates, a prerequisite for the shipyard to build two ships per year.

How? The team takes schedule and part data, including drop-ins, and ensures all work orders due to be cut have a cutting plan or “nest” before the end of shift. The team gets help from the lofters who clear potential sketch issues that need to be addressed to suit the nesting software.

Way to go, Preservation Techs on Carl M. Levin (DDG 120)!

Painters on Hull 521 have made significant strides on a tight schedule in preparing combat compartments for loadout and the ship’s freeboard while the weather holds.

Who? Preservation technicians Casey Leveille, Travis Marcia, Dave Gemmecke, Aidan Cannon, Ken Hughes, Matt Wooten, Derek Ripley, Jake Faulkner and others on the P10 team

What? Carl Levin (DDG 120) has a few final combat compartments that need to be sprayed and loaded out. The freeboard portions of the hull exterior must be painted before the weather turns so the underwater hull blast tent can be attached.

How? A P10 team has been working together to mask/prep/spray as well as do training during the same period. Recently, four sprayed final paint in the Communications/Radio area which allowed the ship to meet the 10/29 loadout date. Completion of the Combat Systems Equipment Room-3 meant equipment loadout happened a week earlier than planned. Four others finished spraying the freeboard from Frame 338 to the stern and are now focused on the bow.

Way to go, Maintenance Mechanics Working #15 Crane!

The team replaced the 5,500-foot wire rope hoist on the #15 Crane in a weekend, freeing it up for a crucial lift right afterward.

Who? Eight Maintenance Mechanics, most from the Crane Crew

What? The inch and a half diameter wire rope that holds the 300-ton crane’s boom aloft – steel wire weighing four pounds per foot – needed replacing soon. It’s a chore that can take five days and ties up a critical production asset.

How? Facilities planned the work for the weekend of Oct. 9. Crews staged the necessary material and starting at 4 a.m. Friday, the group worked three 12-hour shifts to lower the boom into a cradle, remove the mile of old wire rope and then thread in the new – finishing at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday Oct. 11.

Way to go, to Bill, Dave, Joe and Clint!

The team was instrumental in saving us from the very big problem of not having a generator to run critical systems on DDG 1002 during Sunday’s power outage.

Who? Engineering Principal Bill Burtt along with Electricians Dave Beaulieu and Joe Ruzyckij, and Test Supervisor Clint Martz

What? Auxiliary Turbine Generator (ATG) 1 was not able to run and ATG 2 had a failure during tests at low power. It was Thursday afternoon, 10/22, and the ship needed an operational generator to run firefighting and dewatering systems and lights for that Sunday’s planned CMP power outage. Renting the necessary generator costs $50,000.

How? Bill recalled a similar issue on DDG 1000.  He reviewed the drawings and determined the problem. Bill, Dave, Joe and Clint came in at 5 a.m. Friday and together they found the loose wire that Bill suspected and were able to fix the problem. The operations team came in at 6 a.m. and the generator was running by 7:15 a.m. and good to go for Sunday.

Way to go, to Dept. 09 Label Plates on DDG 118!

The past month, Dept. 09 Label Plates has been completing 10 to 15 compartments a week for General Inspection on Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) and also helped get the Vertical Launch System (VLS) to certification with just 8 trial cards compared to 34 for the previous hull.

Who? Label Plate Fabricators and Installers for DDG 118

What? DDG 118 has an aggressive schedule for getting General Inspection approval for compartments to make sure the ship is ready for sea trials by mid-December, which depends on Label Plates completing their work on time. The Navy also inspected the ship’s VLS for the necessary certification, which required D09 to work through 34 trial cards rolled over from DDG 116.

How? The Label Plates team has been working weekends and installing label plates in compartments even before they are handed over to them as long as the labels won’t be damaged by work finishing the spaces. Team members also researched solutions to the more difficult held over VLS trial cards and corrected them.

Way to go, Mike and Bill!

Electricians followed cables through several decks and spaces on DDG 118 so they could install missing tags identifying each cable.

Who? Electricians Mike Elwell and Bill Seavey

What? On Daniel Inouye, Hull 520, a cable trunk line was missing several cable tags indicating what the wires led to because earlier crews had not installed the tags when the cables were pulled. The government was due to inspect them soon.

How? Mike and Bill worked together to identify the cables by tracing them hand over hand to existing tags. This meant following the cables through several decks and even under false deck panels.

Way to go, Alex, Brendan and Scott!

Machine Shop corrected DDG 118 thrust bearing to a tolerance of one one-thousandth of an inch through innovative use of machining tools and precision hand grinding.

Who? Machinists Alex Artea, Brendan Moore and Scott Peaslee

What? The thrust bearing, which pushes power to the ship’s propeller, was delivered out of tolerance. Two sections totaling six feet across needed to be corrected quickly so Outside Machinists could continue installation work in preparation for sea trials.

How? Using a table rotary grinder, a vertical milling center and finally meticulous hand grinding, the Machinists made both sides of the bearing flat and parallel within .001 of an inch to meet our Navy customer’s requirements.

Way to go, Brian!

Tinsmith on DDG 118 (Hull 520) develops improved serving line cover guards

Who? Brian Rancourt, Tinsmith, Hull 520

What? Galley serving line on DDG 51s are made up of a patchwork of metal plates and many exposed rivets, interfering with sailors sliding trays as they’re being served.

How? Brian designed and installed new serving line cover guards on Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), creating a visually appealing smooth surface for the crew to slide their trays on and making it easier for the galley crew to clean.

Way to go, Abbie!

Hook Up Electrician goes above and beyond (literally) to help keep schedule

Who? Abigail Fogg, Hook Up Electrician, 2nd Shift

What? Overhead sheathing installed in galley of Daniel Inouye, Hull 520, before damper circuits were complete.

How? Abbie crawled above the ceiling – over pipes, vents, cable runs and structure – to finish hooking up the circuits, allowing work orders and tests to complete, keeping the project on schedule.

Way to go, Kim and Joe!

Label Plates and Electrical Design teams work design changes concurrently to increase efficiency and speed of execution

Who? Kimberly Keller, D87 Label Plates Work Leader, and Joe Kelly, Electrical Design Sr. Supervisor

What? Late breaking functional electrical changes causing design churn and risk to FY18 scheduled completion.

How? Instead of Label Plates awaiting final design delivery, having access to design data earlier allowed concurrent design and supported the FY18 completion schedule.

Want to nominate somebody?

Do you know a BIW employee who deserves some recognition for improving a process, beating a key deadline or otherwise going the extra mile? Then nominate that person for a BIW Fist Bump.

Email to recognize a fellow employee’s outstanding work.