USS Essex (LHD-2) Department & Divisions
As set forth in U. S. Navy Regulations, the Commanding Officer
is charged with the absolute responsibility for the safety,
well-being, and efficiency of his command, except when and to the
extent he may be relieved therefrom by competent authority.
The duties and responsibilities of the Commanding Officer are established by U. S. Navy Regulations, general orders, customs, and tradition. The authority of the Commanding Officer is commensurate with his responsibility, subject to the limitations prescribed by constitutional, statutory, international, and regulatory law including U. S. Navy Regulations.
The Executive Officer is the direct representative of the Commanding Officer. All orders issued by him will have the same force and effect as though issued by the Commanding Officer. The Executive Officer will conform to and carry out the policies and orders of the Commanding Officer and shall keep him informed of all significant matters pertaining to the command. The Executive Officer shall be primarily responsible under the Commanding Officer for the organization, performance of duty, and good order and discipline of the entire command.
The Executive Officer will assume command should the need arise.
COMMAND MASTER CHIEF
The Command Master Chief is the enlisted advisor to the command on the formulation and implementation of policies pertinent to morale, welfare, job satisfaction, discipline, utilization and training of all enlisted personnel and as such the Command Master Chief has direct access to the Commanding Officer. The Command Master Chief takes precedence over all other enlisted members within a command.
The mission of the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) is to inspect, test and check, calibrate and repair aircraft components, as well as maintain Support and Material Handling Equipment (SE and MHE). The diverse mission is in support of the embarked Air Combat Element (ACE), Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and Amphibious Ready Group Intermediate Maintenance Activity (ARGIMA) concept.
AIMD manning consists of one Officer, two Chief Warrant Officers, eight Chief Petty Officers, and 68 technicians. During deployments, AIMD is augmented by Marine Corps personnel consisting of two Gunnery Sergeants, three Staff Sergeants and 60 enlisted technicians. The four divisions -- Staff (IM-1), General Maintenance (IM-2), Avionics/Armament (IM-3) and Support Equipment (IM-4) -- are subdivided into 18 different work centers, each with a specialized support function.
Working together as a team, AIMD uses more than 2,700 pieces of installed, portable, rolling and armament support equipment to support over 100 systems in six different types of operational aircraft. AIMD has the capability to test, repair and service more than 4,000 individual repairable components. The level of repairs range from small delicate work performed by micro-miniature repair technicians, to large complex work tasks performed on the Amphibious Assault Crash Crane by the support equipment technicians. Altogether, AIMD normally processes in excess of 400 repairable aircraft components with a total of more than 2,000 maintenance actions completed each month while deployed.
The mission of the Air Department is to conduct aircraft handling, launch and recovery operations, including control of airborne Visual Flight Rules traffic within the ship's Control Zone. Additionally, the Air Department provides the necessary services and facilities required for the maintenance and fueling of aircraft so embarked squadrons can effectively conduct air operations in the full application of their military potential. Of equal importance is Air Department's damage control role of aircraft crash and salvage on the flight deck and aircraft fire fighting on the hangar deck.
Combat Systems Department is Made up of the FC, ET, and IC ratings who maintain and operate all of the ship's Weapon Systems, Radars, Phone Systems, Communication Systems, and Gyros.
CF Division- Fire Controlman. Operating some of the most sophisticated Weapon Systems, Radars , and Computer Systems the Navy has to offer. Their overall job is to protect the ship from inbound air and surface attacks
CE Division- Electronic Technicians. The eyes of the ship. Maintain all Shipboard Surface, Air , and Navigational Radars. They are also responsible for Computer Repair , 2-M , and Torpedo Countermeasures.
Deck Department consists of four officers, one Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate, One Chief Boatswain's Mate, 25 other junior Boatswain's Mates and 65 undesignated Seamen. From bow to stern, deck department works hard every day on a variety of evolutions and spaces that include the Well Deck, mooring stations, two 40,000 pound anchors, four underway replenishment stations, six boats, the ship's Quarterdecks, and all ground tackle. Deck also mans many of the topside underway watches, including the Boatswain's Mate of the Watch, helmsman, lee helmsman, aftersteering helmsman, four lookout and lifebuoy watches, and the well deck integrity watch.
The Dental Department provides quality dental care and a full range of dental services for almost 3,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Designed and built with modern and up-to-date dental technology, the ship is outfitted with an oral surgery suite, a complete prosthetics laboratory and two ultra modern x-ray units. Dental capabilities include: endodontics, oral surgery, crown and bridge, operative and preventative dentistry. The ship's dental staff consists of one dental officer and four dental technicians and is augmented when troops are embarked, by an additional dental officer and dental technician from Camp Pendleton, Ca.
The true heart of ESSEX is the Engineering Department. These hard working professinals provide steam to propel the ship and power electrical generators, as well as maintain damage control and auxiliary systems.
The two Main Propulsion divisions, MP-1 and MP-2, are responsible for the forward and aft main machinery rooms. Comprised of Boiler Technicians (BTs) and Machinist's Mates (MMs), they not only perform complex emergent repairs on various machinery while deployed, but find the time to complete extensive space preservation efforts. The Oil Lab's skilled and professional performance ensure the smooth and safe transfer millions of gallons of fuel.
The Auxiliary (A Gang) division keeps the air conditioning plants cold, the small boats purring, and the elevators cycling. The MMs, Enginemen (ENs) and Electrician's Mates (EMs) form a cohesive unit that maintain, operate, and repair countless pieces of equipment throughout the ship. This job is essential to not only the primary missions of the ESSEX, but also to the health and comfort of the crew. Hot water and cold air conditioning were a must to keep the crew cool and happy.
Electrical (E) division, manned by EMs, provides power throughout the ship, and maintains navigational equipment essential for safe steaming. By performing numerous repairs for other ships operating with ESSEX, they ably demonstrated that no repair was too large to accomplish.
Executive Department's primary mission is "Customer Service". Executive Department is similar to a city hall staff. Office Clerks, known as Yeoman and Personnelmen, maintain the records and files that enable the city (ESSEX) to operate. All official correspondence is routed through and distributed by this department. The Executive Department staff also supports ESSEX and all embarked units in the following areas: career counseling, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, legal, safety, physical security, printing and maintenance, and material & management (3M). Educational programs, ranging from Navy advancement tests to college course credits, are also coordinated through this department. These essential services are performed by a varied and talented group of individuals from their chosen occupations.
The Medical Department has the largest combatant medical facility afloat and consists of six operating rooms, a 15-bed intensive care unit, 44-bed hospital ward with 500 overflow beds. In order to support casualty care, the Medical Department has two x-ray suites, a laboratory and blood processing unit, pharmacy and both ashore and afloat. As part of our mission, we provide training in first-aid, preventative medicine and environmental safety.
Navigation Department is comprised of two of the oldest ratings in the Navy, namely the QM and SM ratings. Their main jobs are to ensure the safe passage of ESSEX in her travels, and all external visual communications with other naval and merchant vessels. Even thought the two ratings have very different job descriptions, the department has come together as one team, each lending a distinct capability to the department as a whole. Whether it is shooting bearings while entering or leaving port, sending tactical signals to maneuver the ships in the Amphibious Ready Group or laying tracks to take the crew to far away destinations, the professionals in ESSEX' Navigation Department can be relied upon to provide the best service in the Fleet.
The Operations Department is the focal point for planning coordination and execution of ESSEX missions. These missions range from complex LCAC and Flight Deck operations in support of amphibious exercises and nationally tasked operations, to underway replenishments and integrated training to prepare the ship for any contingency. The department encompasses the Combat Information Center, the true nerve center of the ship and the entity which affects each operational mission. The Operations Department also includes the Helicopter Direction Center, which expertly maintains the fluidity of a demanding flight plan and controls over 30 aircraft that are integral to Navy/Marine Corps missions. The Joint Intelligence Center and Ship's Signals Exploitation Space are also under the Operations Department's umbrella. JIC and SSES collect, analyze and disseminate vital information concerning existing threats, geopolitical climate and military conditions to allow Navy and Marine warfighters to perform their missions with minimal risk. The Operations Department's Meteorological Center is capable of charting weather activity and determining how weather conditions will affect ESSEX operations.
The Chaplain's Office conducts and coordinates command religious programs, including daily and weekly religious worship and study opportunities. Provides counseling and referral services. Facilitates Burials at Sea, Casualty Assistance Calls Officer and Critical Incident Stress Debrief training. Processes American Red Cross messages. Liaisons with other military and civilian religious programs. Organizes command's community relations projects and tiger cruises. Maintains and manages the ship's library.
The ESSEX Supply Department proudly embraces the motto "Ready for Sea." Earning their fourth well deserved Supply Blue 'E', each of the nine divisions within the Supply Department stands ready to provide Sailors and Marines of the ESSEX ARG team with the highest level of courteous customer service. The department exceeds the expectations of all of its customers. Whether it's providing IMPAC card services, serving hundreds of meals from ESSEX' four messes, doing laundry, operating the Gator Pit and vending machines, cutting hair, maintaining pay records and stocking the ATMs, delivering your mail, stacking and inventorying over 40 storerooms, managing HAZMAT or running a replenishment at sea evolutions and steel beach picnic -- the Supply team is always at work for the crew.