By Tom Kreidel, Office of Corporate Communications, NAVSUP Fleet LogisticsCenter Norfolk
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Norfolk provided logistics support for ship and aircraft movements, along with supporting shore facilities preparing for Hurricane Florence, beginning September 10 and continuing throughout the week.
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The guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) departs Naval Station Norfolk in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command ordered all Navy Ships in the Hampton Roads area to sortie on Sept. 10, 2018 aahead of Hurricane Florence. There were nearly 30 ships preparing to get underway from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek as Hurricane Florence was forecast to bring high winds and rain to the Mid-Atlantic coast. Ships were directed to areas of the Atlantic where they were best postured for storm avoidance. –photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Caledon Rabbipal
According to Logistics Support Officer, Lt. Tam Colbert, the Logistics Support Center (LSC) supported the sortie efforts of 26 ships in advance of the suspected arrival of the storm. In addition, they assisted Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic with the procurement of more than 1,200 meals ready to eat and nearly 1,500 cases of water.
“We are incredibly proud of the outstanding teamwork and the hard work that our team put in to support the ships,” she added. “To know how we play a role in keeping our fleet and our Sailors out of harm’s way and ready for the next tasking, it makes us feel very proud and privileged.”
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The guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) departs Naval Station Norfolk. –photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Caledon Rabbipal
Colbert explained that the largest challenge for the LSC is providing food, both when the ships depart and when they return to homeport. She says the key is coordination with all of the stakeholders including the vendors, ships’ supply departments, working parties and bases. As schedules shift, the LSC helps keep everyone on the same page to ensure demands are met.
“We have excellent relationships with our suppliers, they always strive to meet the demands,” she said. “Their flexibility and support have been incredible.”
NAVSUP FLC Norfolk is also responsible for the fuel that ships and aircraft need to sortie from their homeport. According to Fuels Department Director, Kevin Henderson, his department provided more than four million gallons of F-76 fuel for ships and approximately one million gallons JP-5 to departing aircraft.
“The key is making sure we have adequate fuel inventory for the duration of hurricane season, ensuring all barges and trucks are mechanically up and available; and then working the schedule to meet all of the requirements,” Henderson added.
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The guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94), front, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) depart Naval Station Norfolk. –photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert
He explained, while most fuel for ships is provided by Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships, the fuels department also uses trucks and fuel barges in situations like sorties.
NAVSUP FLC Norfolk is now turning its attention to the ships and aircrafts as they return to homeport, an effort that began September 16. One of the first ships to return was USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and the LSC’s efforts earned kudos from the carrier’s Supply Department.
“Thanks for the outstanding support provided for our return to homeport on Sunday (September 16),” said Abraham Lincoln Supply Officer, Cmdr. Shannon Walker. “It could not have gone better.”