BY BRIAN J. DAVIS, OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER PUGET SOUND
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Puget Sound personnel were waiting pier side as U.S. Navy ships arrived in Seattle to participate in the city’s Seattle Seafair Fleet Week ‘17.
The port visit was the culmination of months of preparation, with logistics support personnel on the scene, until well after the last ship departed Aug. 7.
The NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Logistics Support Center (LSC) spent months attending event planning meetings and determining logistics requirements in preparation for the visit of amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) to Seattle during the annual Seafair festival’s Fleet Week, according to NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Operations Officer Lt. Cmdr. Gina Slaby.
The ships, along with vessels from the U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy, participated in the festivities and offered tours to the general public.
Several NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound departments were involved in preparing for the visit, including contracting, fuel, logistics support, and postal operations, arranging for pier side support and coordinating purchase and delivery of products and services to meet the requirements of the ships during their visit.
A logistics support representative (LSR) was also assigned as a liaison to the ships for the duration of the port visit, remaining in Seattle and available 24 hours a day.
“Sebrin Jones, an LSR from our office at Naval Station Everett, was assigned to support the Seafair visit. He is the primary point of contact for the ships regarding priority parts, provisions, and husbandry issues,” said Lt. j.g. Barbary Conley, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound logistics support officer.
Logistics support for the Anchorage and the Murphy ranged from husbandry services such as shore power, fresh water, tugboat services, and trash collection to necessary products and services like food provisions, parts, and supplies. To support Fleet Week, the NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound staff went to work several weeks in advance, making purchase orders, writing contracts, ordering supplies, and negotiating delivery details with local vendors to ensure that the Anchorage and the Murphy had everything they needed for a smooth port call.
The NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound team also coordinated daily delivery and pickup of mail.
“The postal team and LSC transferred and accepted a total of 165 pounds of mail along with 1,500 pounds of cargo. The items included personal and official mail, Navy advancement exams, and various priority two parts and cargo,” said Rick Buchart, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound region postal operations manager.
Aside from mission essential support, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound also coordinated support specific to Fleet Week.
“We also made arrangements for furniture, equipment, and supplies to support a reception aboard the Anchorage hosted by Commander, U.S. Third Fleet, and we arranged for a stage for an Aug. 4 naturalization ceremony that also took place aboard the Anchorage,” said Conley.
Fleet Week is a bit different than a typical port visit at a military base, and the NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound support team found itself quietly working around several public events and festival activities throughout the port visit.
“The challenge is in the coordination and timing, and the trick is making it all seamless. For example, let’s say we have a truck load of provisions to be delivered to the pier and loaded on the ship. The ship is hosting public tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and we have to coordinate around that schedule. So we have to work with the ship’s crew, the vendor, and the contractor operating the crane to coordinate delivery, get the product aboard, and get everyone clear before the crowd starts showing up to see the ship,” said Eddie Edrosa, deputy of the NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound operations department.
The LSC also had to coordinate last minute operational requirements. It received an urgent part request from the Anchorage on the first evening in port. The next day, LSRs in Bremerton obtained the more than 400 pound part, loaded it into a vehicle, drove to the pier in Seattle and delivered the part just before the ship got underway at 11 a.m. to participate in the festival’s Parade of Ships.
“Our primary function is to support all the logistical needs for the ships, to ensure mission readiness, and see that they have what they need to get underway without delay,” said Conley.
Anchorage is homeported in San Diego, California, and Murphy is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Since 1950, Seattle has hosted Fleet Week along the city’s waterfront, showcasing the men and women that serve in the U.S. sea services. For more information, go to www.seafair.com.