By Candice Villarreal, Director, Office of Corporate Communications,
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center San Diego
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) San Diego worked alongside USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) Sailors in July during a brief visit from the ship’s crew in San Diego.
NAVSUP FLC San Diego is currently supporting the Fitzgerald as it undergoes an extended integrated logistics overhaul (ILO).
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USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) Sailors pause for a photo after sorting 177 tri-walls of shipboard gear.
“After the collision, everything was put in tri-walls and sent to San Diego so the ship could be put on the heavy-lift for transport,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Arthur Simpson. “We worked with Fitzgerald subject matter experts (SMEs) as they verified what was still usable and what required proper disposal. You don’t want to send something to the ship that they can’t use, because that creates extra work for the crew.”
During the extended ILO, NAVSUP FLC San Diego will provide technical guidance, oversight and liaison services for the crew as they navigate the overhaul, assisting with the sorting and organization of shipboard parts and equipment and mocking them up for return to the ship’s retrofitted storerooms.
“In under a week, we went through 177 tri-walls,” said Ens. Cora Cochrane, Fitzgerald supply officer. “It’s a big win for us. We didn’t expect to get this much done in a week, but everybody worked together tirelessly to see this project through.”
Sixteen Fitzgerald Sailors – all SMEs from the ship’s damage control, medical, engineering, weapons, supply, combat systems and operations departments – worked side-by-side with supervision from NAVSUP FLC San Diego personnel to get the job done.
“I know I speak for all of us in the NAVSUP Enterprise when I say we are grateful to be put in situations where we can help our warfighters out,” said Simpson. “To go through what they’ve been through and still keep the pace and work so hard and so well, that’s just amazing.”
Simpson is at the twilight end of his tour with NAVSUP FLC San Diego. He has received follow-on orders to Fitzgerald,where he will report for duty in December.
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LS1 Arthur Simpson, LS2 Raymond Solis and LS1 Susana Floresangeles prepare damaged USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) computer equipment for proper disposition in San Diego.
“That crew is resilient,” said Simpson. “Every one of them. They are representative of the fighting spirit of this Navy, and I am looking forward to being a part of that team. I had the unique opportunity to assist my future shipmates before I even got on board. That’s an incredible bonus that comes with this job, and it’s one of many.”
Integrated Logistics Support Engineering Division Head Robert Fischer agreed, adding that the command’s mission is to keep the Navy’s warfighters logistically and operationally capable.
“None of this will ever take away what happened, but we can certainly help make a difference for this crew as they heal,” said Fischer. “We are helping as best we can in the best way we can contribute: Through logistics know-how and flexible support.”
The guided-missile destroyer is currently under repair in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where it will be restored and modernized to achieve full functionality and operational capability before making its return to the fleet.
“I’d like to say thank you to NAVSUP FLC San Diego and the other teams that have supported us from day one,” said Cochrane. “The NAVSUP commander actually called the supply officer on board – as we were still fighting the ship – to lend support and ask how NAVSUP could help. NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka took great care of us while we were out there, as well. We have been fortunate to receive a lot of really great, critical support when we really needed it.”
Cochrane added that dispatching her team to assess the material condition of shipboard items with NAVSUP FLC San Diego helped the Navy achieve a significant cost avoidance, allowing them to determine what could be reutilized or salvaged and avoiding re-buys.
“We are still on a mission here,” said Cochrane. “There is so much pride within the Fitzgerald team; we want to see ‘Fitz’ get back in the fight. At the end of this whole evolution, when we see Fitzgerald back on the water, all of the hard work will have been worth it. We will be standing proud at the end.”
–photos by Candice Villarreal