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17 Association of the United States Navy dozen ships, about 29, over the next five to six years. So some pretty significant growth there. How has the nature of the work they do changed over the last decade as budgets, priorities and oper- ational demands shift? e change in operational schedules has certainly gotten more deliberate and focusing on readiness generation. Although we say workload has increased recently, some new systems are coming in, the processes have really become more mature. We've gotten much more deliberate, I would say, and that has come via us developing directed maintenance strategies that have allowed us to become more prescriptive on what needs to be done. at has led to longer schedules for the availabilities, the planned duration, and consuming about a third of that overall OFRP [Optimized Fleet Response Plan] schedules for the CONUS-based ships. Schedules have firmed up, as well as requirements have gotten a bit tighter. The Navy is embarking on a $21 billion, 20-year optimization plan for its four public shipyards. How will this plan unfold and what are some of your first priorities under it? at addresses the four naval shipyards, and the naval infrastructure relative to those. We're developing within NAVSEA a sister plan against the private sector, which covers on the order of 20 shipyards and what improvements may be needed in those private shipyards as well as how we invest or share costs in them. ere's the 20-ish-bil- lion-dollar investment over 20 years for government property, well the private sector is not our property generally. We're looking at what investments, what improve- ments might they need, what is the business plan for the private sector to address those, and how might the Navy assist with that, such as a structure of a contract, whether profit or price. And is there a need for CAPE-X, or capital investment, programs like we do with the new-construction private yards, such as investing in drydocks or other key expensive facili- ties. So we're developing our private-sector version of the 20-year plan, and we started several months ago. Our initial dra, Phase 1 of the effort, is due within NAVSEA near the end of this year. at will address our main, larger shipyards in CONUS and Hawaii. MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS MICHAEL SANCHEZ Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd Class Juan Otero heats a section of pipe while performing maintenance aboard the Wasp-class amphib- ious assault ship USS Kearsarge in Mayport, Fla., May 15.

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