By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan D. McLearnon, Carrier Strike Group 3 Public Affairs
Supplying food, parts, equipment, and managing logistics for a ship out to sea is a full-time job. The guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance’s (DDG 111) supply department works ceaselessly to ensure the ship has the items it needs to complete the mission while operating in the Arabian Gulf.
The supply department consists of three divisions: S1, S2, and S3. Each division is vital to sustaining mission readiness and maintaining the lethality of the ship and its crew.
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Petty officers aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) prepare pizza for the crew in the galley during a pizza, pasta, and wings night. –photo by MC1 Ryan D. McLearnon
S1, the supply support division, consists of logistics specialists (LSs) who control programs such as supply support, hazardous materials (HAZMAT), and mail.
Each role of the S1 division contributes to ship function.
“S1 is vital to the mission,” said LS2 Nakosha Embry, the division leading petty officer (LPO). “First of all, for maintenance we provide all HAZMAT and we make sure HAZMAT is always stocked to ensure the upkeep of the ship. Furthermore, when parts break on certain equipment, S1 works to expedite the parts to fix the equipment as quickly as possible, so the ship is capable of completing the mission.”
Additionally, S1 is in charge of the ship’s budget for parts and materiels and all logistical aspects of pulling into ports.
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LS2 Erica Reddick and BM1 Raymond Newton, right, remove s’mores from an oven to serve Sailors on watch. –photo by MC1 Ryan D. McLearnon
“The budget is a big deal, and we have a certain amount of money we have to divide among all of the divisions on the ship,” said Embry. “We have to make sure when casualty reports come up, no matter how important, that we are able to fund it.”
The second of the three divisions, S2, food services division, is made up of culinary specialists (CSs) who prepare and serve four meals a day, feeding over 300 Sailors.
“For the entire crew, we break out supplies and prepare and serve on average 1,200 meals a day, including midnight rations,” said CS1 Christina Stroud, the S2 LPO. “We also take care of the wardroom, chiefs’ mess, staterooms, storerooms, and food storage spaces on the ship.”
The final division, the S3 ship’s services division, is made up of the ship’s serviceman (SHs), which includes the operators of the ship’s store, vending machines, barbershop, and laundry.
SH1 Shannon Clifton, the S3 LPO, says his division plays a vital role in the morale and welfare on the ship.
“On a day-to-day basis, we ensure the crew has their basic necessities,” said Clifton. “We provide the services that keep the crew’s grooming standards up to par, and provide them with clean laundry. The ship’s store offers them the means of purchasing anything they might need to get through the day.” The efforts of the three supply divisions directly support every department, division, and Sailor aboard.
The Sailors of the supply department also provide essential personnel for repair locker, bridge watch, flight deck, and the small craft action team mounts watch bills.
“We base ourselves on service to the crew, morale, and overall mission readiness,” said Chief CS Randal Rufolo, the supply department leading chief petty officer. “I have been aboard for three years and at this moment in time I can honestly say we have the best supply team I have ever had the privilege of working for.”
“The supply department may not be the heart of the ship, but it’s definitely the blood that keeps the heart pumping,” said Clifton.
“Even with the myriad tasks at hand, the supply department Sailors stay mission-oriented,” said Lt. Christopher Brown, Spruance supply officer.
“We strive to provide maximum materiel availability,” said Brown. “The Spruance supply department helps move the readiness needle in support of the broader operational mission.”
Spruance is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.