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16 Navy | Summer 2018 complex and they're aging. We have some increase in new ships — the restart of DDGs [Arleigh Burke-class destroyers] and LCSs [littoral combat ships] — but the majority of the fleet is increasing in age. And there's some significant improvements in cost. Cost has similarly reduced by 30 to 40 percent in that timeframe, and we attribute that to getting the requirements defined ahead of time, the planning packages ahead of time, and making sure the request for proposals, the RFP, has all those requirements as we have to get into a firm, fixed-price contract. What are the main challenges the regional centers face today? ere's four naval shipyards, and I have seven regional maintenance centers. We now oversee operations of Japan, that's just changed in the last couple of months. So the regional maintenance centers are in Norfolk, or mid-Atlantic; then Mayport [Fla.], or southeast; then southwest is San Diego; and then forward-deployed out of Naples, Italy, which covers Rota, Spain, and Bahrain. And those are pure regional maintenance centers, not co-located with four naval shipyards. en we have regional maintenance centers embedded up at Puget Sound [Wash.], and embedded out in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. So that makes up six. And then, just in the last couple of months, we have somewhat of a unique issue in Japan where, for many years, the Pacific Fleet oversaw everything, and that's just recently changed. It's changed for a couple of reasons: the review of the McCain and Fitzgerald [colli- sion] events, and that comprehensive review looked at training, operations, maintenance, and there are some differences in how we do maintenance out there. We have a significant increase in work. As you look at the size of the fleet in '15, '16, '17, we went to around three dozen major availabilities or so per year as we had a reduction in the total number of ships, and started bringing fleet numbers back on this path toward 355 [ships]. So 2018 through 2021 will be 135 percent of the workload that we've had in recent years. We're dealing with, especially in our fleet concentration areas of Norfolk and San Diego, the need for capacity increases in the private sector, some relatively significant growth needed there. And, this isn't a challenge really, but a steady drumbeat continues on burning down any deferred maintenance, and they've done a good job on those efforts. e fleet continues to age overall, so some of that challenge is that the average age is a bit beyond 22 years. en we've got some new technologies coming. In San Diego and Mayport, principally it's a relatively significant influx of LCS ships and how we deal with a variety of systems, from propulsion plants to other elements, larger ship systems, learning those systems, positioning some of the support equipment at the facil- ities, and growing. We'll have a growth rate in Mayport, where we'll go from about a dozen ships to over two MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JANWEB B. LAGA ZO Employees from Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center, Yokosuka, Japan, hoist a carrier vessel crash crane onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan on April 3. "So 2018 through 2021 will be 135 percent of the workload that we've had in recent years."

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