BY SKY M. LARON DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER YOKOSUKA
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka Sailors aided humanitarian efforts Aug. 3-10 in the wake of Super Typhoon Soudelor, which struck the Pacific island of Saipan.
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Sailors and Marines load cases of water onto the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) in preparation for the ship getting underway to deploy to Saipan. – U.S. Navy photo by Leah Eclavea
Extreme wind and rain pelted the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States in the Western Pacific Ocean, flooding the island and leaving local residents without power or water.
At its peak on Aug. 3, Soudelor was estimated by the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center to pack maximum one-minute sustained winds of 180 mph and gusts to 220 mph. NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, Site Marianas in coordination with Naval Base Guam Port Operations, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provided logistics support to the USS Ashland (LSD 48) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in support of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) efforts following the devastation caused by Soudelor.
“Site Marianas’ logistics support representatives (LSRs) supported two separate load outs of drinking water and other emergency relief supplies as well as high priority ship requirements for USS Ashland (LSD 48) and the 31st MEU,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Kenneth Dixon, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, Site Marianas director.
“LSRs are often tasked 24/7 in support of emergent requirements such as HA/DR, where the ashore logistics support is not usually a 24-hour operation, they provide the link that can spin-up shore support on short notice,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Shane Strohl, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, Operations Department director.
In total, 61 pallets of HA/DR supplies, nine emergency support vehicles, three pallets of ship supplies and ten 40-foot containers of additional humanitarian supplies were on loaded for travel to Saipan, Dixon added.
“As the Fleet is our normal customer, Operations generally focus on support to ships that are the first responders to the contingency,” said Strohl. “It is really easy to take pride in what the team can accomplish.”
With a responsibility to serve all ships operating in the more than 51 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian Oceans NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka personnel listen to their customers’ needs and determine innovative logistics solutions to get the job done.
“They know their job, require little guidance and are true professionals,” said Strohl. “I often see notes of thanks from supported ships and activities for their efforts to support.”
With the boots on the ground support that the LSR team brings to the fight, relief supplies located in Guam got to the people who needed it most in Saipan, which is just part of the job for NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka logisticians who pride themselves on serving the Fleet in emergencies and every day, ensuring all supplies are pushed the last tactical mile.