Fast cat gets quick break
Following a successful drydocking for scheduled maintenance and periodic regulatory inspection the vessel completed sea trials on November 14 and was then handed over to the Navy for additional operational testing of its military capabilities.
An aggressive schedule of requested maintenance and inspection coupled with the military's request for a rapid turn-around created a challenging environment.
Bollinger Morgan City managed the overall project and coordinated its work with numerous subcontractors, including Incat Tasmania, Caterpillar and Maritime Dynamics, and interfaced with SupShips New Orleans, the government's project manager. SupShips also coordinated the efforts of the ship's crew as it performed crew-responsibility maintenance activities.
Chris Bollinger, president of Bollinger/Incat USA, the vessel owner, said, "An extensive scope of work was accomplished in a limited amount of time through effective scheduling and complete cooperation by all involved. Each group had a clear understanding of the objective and the importance of getting the vessel and crew back in service on time with all work accomplished."
U.S. Army, Systems Acquisition Manager (SAM), Fred W. Chapin commended the workforce saying, "I want you to know that my dealings with the Bollinger project personnel, along with the entire crew that worked the Joint Venture were a pleasure. Their 'can do' attitude turned a difficult and aggressive Maintenance and Repair cycle into a pleasant experience for the Navy and Army and the vessel was completed, passed sea trialsls and is now operating under the Navy Command. Navy Capt. Beierl reports the vessel is operating well."
The Joint Venture has recently undergone extensive field testing by the United States Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Special Forces Command in the world-wide military exercise Millennium Challenge 2002. In this, the largest joint exercise ever undertaken by the United States military, Joint Venture performed numerous roles including special reconnaissance and direct action missions, transport, mine detection, and command and control. "The Joint Venture performed superbly, and has received rave reviews from senior personnel of all branches of the military," said Chris Bollinger. "The vessel has proved to be a versatile multi-mission platform, and is poised to take its place as a strategic asset of the United States military."