Imagine slinging dozens of mail bags carrying letters and packages totaling hundreds of pounds. Now, imagine doing that on a daily basis, aboard a ship, at sea. This is what the logistics specialists (LS) assigned to ships patrolling the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) do for their shipmates, ensuring they get a piece of home, during deployment.
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Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) move mail to the hangar bay. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Photo by MCSN Loni Mae Lopez
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka hosted a training event for postal petty officers, postal officers as well as Supply Officers on board Yokosuka Naval Base, which enabled the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) postal officer to brief the logistics Sailors on address standardization, the new Navy Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses for ships, mobile units and ashore FPOs, which are being converted to an address format compatible with the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) address system.
“The fact that PACFLT Postal Officer, Master Chief Logistics Specialist Salvatore Beneventano, was available to brief all of Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) on the Navy’s address standardization initiative says to everyone this initiative is important and we need everyone’s full cooperation in order to succeed,” said Otilio Santos, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Regional Postal Manager. “The waterfront was enthusiastic to receive his brief as was evident by the great turnout and the attendees were very receptive to the brief and asked great questions an indication that they want to get address standardization correct for their commands and shipmates.”
The format for ships and mobile units is as follows
Line 1: Name
Line 2: Ship or Mobile Unit name
Line 3: Ship or Mobile Unit number, box number
Line 4: FPO (AP, AE, AA) ZIP code (5 digits only)
Each unique unit number identifies a command while the box number identifies the individual Sailor. By making these changes the Navy will now have addresses recognized by the USPS as residential rather than commercial, which will eliminate much of the manual sorting that takes place and allows the USPS to leverage technology and utilize their automated sorting system, saving time and money.
“The standardization will improve service to the customer as well as allow that customer to utilize the online change of address at USPS.com,” said Beneventano.
Beneventano added that it is still the crew’s responsibility to contact all their mailers with any change of address and follow postal procedures during check-in and check-out.
In a high-tech world of instant messages, tweets and emails, the act of receiving a letter or package in the mail still goes a long way in support of forward deployed fleet forces and their families.
Thanks to the postal personnel at NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, who provide around-the-clock postal services to a wide variety of supported commands, ensuring the timely delivery of mail, within the region, logistics specialists across the fleet have been educated and better equipped to support their shipmates.
Rest assured that the LS Sailor hoisting and slinging those large yellow bags of mail for everyone on the ship, from the Commanding Officer to the newest Seaman Recruit, is going to ensure delivery of that little piece of home sooner than before.
By Sky M. Laron; NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Corporate Communications