Overcoming Challenges

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Steven Perry - THOR's First Hammer Award Recipient

After his time as an Electrician’s Mate Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy, Steven Perry found a new opportunity working for THOR Solutions as an integrated Test Engineer for Code 225 of the South West Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC). Once the rigorous testing process, which included months of testing and shadowing, was completed, Mr. Perry became certified as a lead Integrated Test Engineer for US Navy Ships going through an availability. He is responsible for ensuring clear and concise communications on behalf of Code 200 for the Availability Maintenance Team, which is comprised of Regional Maintenance Center, Shipyard, Program Office and Ship’s Forces representatives. Essentially, Mr. Perry has become the “voice” for the Engineering Department of SWRMC when it comes to the ship’s testing schedule during an availability. 

The first event that Mr. Perry lead was for the USS Princeton, a Ticonderoga-class guided Missile Cruiser. The event lasted from March 5, 2018 until September 27, 2018. This ship class provided a unique challenge compared to others, as many of the necessary replacement parts for this ship were obsolete, creating a logistics nightmare. In addition, the CG-47 class had many variances among each ship, leading to meticulous research in  order to ensure all test procedures given to the Availability maintenance teams were indeed the correct ones. However, it quickly became apparent that the collection, holding, and transfer (CHT) system was down prior to the start of the ship’s testing. The CHT must be working for a ship to start testing, and only then can the ship be certified to return to an active status within the fleet. Through constant communication, transparency and effortless teamwork they were able to overcome this issue and surpass this difficult obstacle. 

In the end, the USS PRINCETON event was the first availability in over 3 years to successfully meet the promulgated schedule and return to the fleet on time. For this reason, Mr. Perry, along with several other members of the Maintenance Availability team, were awarded a certificate of appreciation from SWRMC Commanding Officer Captain Hart. When talking to Mr. Perry, his biggest take away was communication. As he stated, “Communication is key, being able to successfully communicate and being transparent led to being able to work through issues and not around them. That led to finding solutions in the given time window.” 

Steven Perry, or “Steve” as his Code 225 teammates call him, says he loves working at SWRMC because of the up-tempo environment. He enjoys running into past shipmates at SWRMC and appreciates the camaraderie everyone there has for the same goal, ultimately helping the fleet. He enjoys working in Code 225 specifically because they make everyone feel welcomed and valued. To anyone else transitioning out of the military, when Mr. Perry looks back at his first year out of the Navy, he recommends “To slow down and take the time to adjust to the new role. Working for the government instead of being the government is night and day.”