BY OLLIE COOPERWOOD, OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND WEAPON SYSTEMS SUPPORT
Members of Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support (WSS), NAVSUP Global Logistics Support, Naval Sea Systems Command and Commander, Naval Air Forces, completed a storage capabilities assessment of Hangar Bay 3 of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) March 21-26.
The team, comprised of hazardous material, fire protection/recovery, and ship design managers, spent six days aboard the deployed vessel, assessing the Hangar Bay 3 Supply Mountain, material storage options, and response capabilities in the event of a fire.
The visit was the final phase in a series of studies aimed at reducing the risks associated with the storage and usage of hazardous materials aboard the vessel.
During the team’s previous pierside visit to USS Carl Vinson in early 2014, it noted capacity and usage issues with Hangar Bay 3. While that study proved helpful, this final visit painted a clearer picture of the challenges and complexities associated with storing and moving hazardous materials while underway.
Jeff Whitman, who serves as the Asset Protection and Pollution Prevention Department site manager for NAVSUP WSS, said he understands the importance of visiting the USS Carl Vinson while it conducts actual sea operations.
“Our Fleet customers wanted us to see first-hand the amount of material and challenges associated with the Hangar Bay 3 while the vessel was underway,” he explained.
The team’s assessment is one of many measures the Navy is taking to ensure that hazardous materials are managed and stored in a manner that mitigates risk and employs the best practices aboard vessels whether deployed or in port.
The recommendations in the assessment will help keep the Navy at the forefront of readiness by making sure its Fleet forces are properly equipped with the tools and resources needed to operate at home and abroad.
“We left with an appreciation for the challenges associated with Hangar Bay 3 while a ship is deployed and conducting operations. It highlights how routine events, such as replenishments at sea and solid waste management afloat, affect Hangar Bay 3,” said Whitman.