First reservists arrive at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Newly arrived SurgeMain sailors begin their mobilization in support of COVID-19 recovery efforts, July 15, 2020 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility Detachment Everett. [Photo by Scott Hansen, PSNS & IMF]

The first group of Navy reservists assigned to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility as part of the Navy’s Surge Maintenance program (see earlier story) have arrived to begin their mobilization in support of COVID-19 recovery efforts.

The sailors are the first of 676 SurgeMain reservists who will serve with PSNS & IMF at all of its sites. Established in 2005, SurgeMain has 2,200 enlisted reserve sailors and 210 reserve officers who serve across 75 reserve units. The program was created to augment the Navy’s shipyard workforce in times of need.

Sailors assigned to SurgeMain began arriving at PSNS & IMF Detachment Everett in early July. Besides providing an influx of technical and trade backgrounds to the shipyard during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the Navy, SurgeMain sailors provide another benefit, a unique perspective.

“We have a highly-diverse group of sailors with a wide range of backgrounds,” said Cmdr. Aaron Coudray, PSNS & IMF Detachment Everett officer in charge. “Their experience will give us the benefit of learning new ways to do things, of having fresh eyes.”

One of those sets of fresh eyes belongs to Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Cory Bonacorsi. In his civilian job, Bonarcorsi works as a maintenance mechanic for a drug rehabilitation facility in Illinois.

“Being in the Navy, you acquire the skills of meeting and getting to know new people quickly,” said Bonnacorsi. “I think that we will hit the ground running and learn a lot from each other.”

For PSNS & IMF’s SurgeMain leadership, identifying sailors with the necessary skill set for each job is a critical aspect of ensuring a seamless integration with their civilian counterparts.

“Each of our shops and detachments have unique aspects to them,” said Lt. Cdr. Michael Joye, PSNS & IMF’s SurgeMain officer-in-charge. “Our job is to find the right talent for the right job. We are very adaptable to every situation because they are highly trained. When life changes, they change.”

However, not all members of the SurgeMain team are new to the Puget Sound Area. Some of the reservists have had experience working with PSNS & IMF before.

Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Josh Heitmann served at PSNS & IMF Detachment Everett during his annual training in February, in preparation for just this kind of mobilization.

“It’s nice to see some familiar faces and to know that we work together very well,” said Heitmann. “Coming from Boeing in my civilian job, I really appreciate the different ways in which I can apply the things I am learning here during this mission and when I return to my job.”

SurgeMain reservists will continue to arrive in four-week phases through September. They will work in a variety of shops and specialities throughout PSNS & IMF and its detachments. They will be on one-year mobilizatio

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