Pearl Harbor, Hawaii— A 2004 Dunbar High School graduate and native of Baltimore is serving at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility as part of the largest mobilization of reservists in Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) history. The mobilization is tied directly to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Byran Roundtree is one of the reserve sailors deployed to the Navy’s four public shipyards as part of the Surge Maintenance (SurgeMain) program. Established in 2005 to augment the Navy’s organic civilian shipyard workforce in times of need, SurgeMain has 2,200 enlisted reserve sailors and 240 reserve officers across 75 units.
“I am a person who is prepared to serve and was ready to do what SurgeMain needed,” Roundtree said. “I’m glad SurgeMain asked for my help because this mobilization means a lot to me.” Between mid-March and late June, up to 25 percent of the naval shipyards’ production workforce had been on administrative leave due to being at high risk for severe complications tied to the COVID-19 virus.
As a result, the four shipyards collectively experienced schedule impacts for most of the ships and submarines undergoing maintenance. This delayed maintenance work could result in delays to ship and submarine maintenance which could cause disruptions to the Navy’s deployment schedules and require ships and sailors to remain forward-deployed for longer periods of time.
NAVSEA, the largest command within the Navy, oversees the construction, delivery and maintenance of all the Navy’s commissioned ships and operates four naval shipyards— Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, VA; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, WA; and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Honolulu, HI.
Workers at each of these shipyards perform a vital role in national defense by performing maintenance on ships, submarines and aircraft carriers required for combat-ready fleet forces.
“The four naval shipyards are critical to providing deployable, combat-ready warships for our Sailors and Marines,” said NAVSEA’s Commander Vice Adm. Bill Galinis. “Augmenting our organic civilian workforce with SurgeMain Reservists allows us to address the maintenance challenges generated by the pandemic so we can return ships back to the Fleet.”
Roundtree is an engineman responsible for the safety of fellow SurgeMain Sailors and civilian workers.
“I am expected to exceed and meet expectations when I am given assignments,” Roundtree said. “The thing I enjoy most about this job is being able to discover new solutions to solve problems that might present themselves to the shop on a daily basis. Also, I enjoy how we are compensated to provide a better future for ourselves.”
According to Roundtree, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Baltimore. “The lessons I have learned growing up that have prepared me for my career is just working hard and staying focused until the job is complete,” Roundtree said. “I learned to never give up on myself and always believe in both myself and my visions.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Roundtree, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“I appreciate the Navy for knowing I would be ready to support the mission during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Roundtree added. “The Navy was an excellent choice because it’s vital to a person’s success and growth.”