TRANSITIONING TO THE FLEET
The products of successful environmental RDT&E must be intelligently transitioned to the Fleet customers. The Fleet needs ship-ready and reliable environmental systems for which all installation, operation, troubleshooting, maintenance, repair, training, and logistics support is in place. The RDT&E program is coordinated with the NAVSEA life-cycle managers (SEA 03L), supply system (NAVSUP), and In-Service Engineering Agents (ISEAs) to ensure that all of the pieces of the procurement and logistics puzzle are in place for Fleet implementation. Major environmental systems may also have to pass independent operational evaluation (OPEVAL) by COMOPTEWOR and formal scrutiny of an Acquisition Review Board (ARB).
NAVSEA develops different kinds of shipboard environmental products and some require more preparation than others to reach Fleet users. Some of the environmental products are more "transparent" than others to Fleet users. For example, the PWP was a major hardware system with several subsystems that requires significant space, ship services, manning, and changes in the crew's waste management procedures. A more-accurate OCM for oily waste, on the other hand, is a relatively simple, small, unmanned, single instrument that will actually require less human intervention than the OCM it is to replace. NAVSEA has employed quite a few different mechanisms for turning over environmental products to the Fleet including; procurement specifications; performance specifications; drawings; commercial item descriptions; revised technical documentation (Tech Manuals, MRCs, etc.); Justification Cost Forms (JCFs) for SHIPALTS, MACHALTS, etc.; GSO/GENSPEC changes; revised MILSTDs; Fleet advisories; new NSNs; modified/new industry standards and specifications; Fleet supply support; training; site visits; technology transfer through patents, licenses, CRADAs, etc.; and MOUs and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) for NATO navies. The trasition can take place through platform design offices (PEO/PMS codes), the Fleet Modemization Program (FMP), Fleet CINCs, Navy laboratories, shipyards, and industry and may be funded by O&MN, OPN, or SCN accounts.
Transitioning RDT&E products used to be relatively easy when the Navy produced Level III drawings for build-to-print procurement contracts. The Navy could be assured that it would receive duplicates in quantity of the shipboard system it designed and qualified in the laboratory and on board ship. This largely removed uncertainty about the design, configuration, components, and form/fit/function of systems. Under recent DoD acquisition reform, the Navy no longer follows ths traditional approach. The focus now is on formulating top-level operational requirements and performance specifications, giving greater latitude to contractors (shipyards, system integrators, etc.), and increasing Navy risk mitigation measures through "smart buyer" strategies. A new Navy-industry relationship is being forged for the design of new ships. It may sometimes appear that the Navy is relinquishing control of detailed requirements, but the Navy must employ decision-making tools to become smarter in how it chooses ship systems and components. The new Navy-industry teaming is making it more difiicult for the Navy to ensure that its environmental RDT&E products are picked up by industry to be included in new ship designs. This presents new challenges in "getting the word out" about appropriate COTS equipment and Navy-developed solutions. The NAVSEA shipboard environmental RDT&E program is employing a wide variety of strategies to accomplish this communication, including: close ties with NAVSEA ship design managers; the publicly-available Shipboard Environmental Information Clearinghouse (SEIC) Web site (http://navyseic.dt.navy.mil/); "industry day" meetings; Federal Register announcements for qualifications and products; NSWCCD working relationships with shipyards, manufacturers, vendors, and professional societies; and even the successfil opelaion of envirorunental equipment backfit onto existing ships.