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Logistics Support Plays Major Role in Navy's Hurricane Relief

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070908-14
Release Date: 9/8/2007 1:57:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Riza Caparros, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

NORFOLK (NNS) -- With just over half of the 2007 hurricane season behind, Norfolk-based ships continue to make preparations to render emergency assistance if and when the call comes. An involved process takes place before the ships even leave port, ensuring they are supplied with everything they'll need to provide aid to an affected region.

According to Jerry Dysick, Norfolk Logistics Support Center supervisor, getting food, water and medical supplies needed on short notice has its challenges.

"For hurricane support, the FISC [Fleet and Industrial Supply Center] normally gets the emergency requirement notification just a few days prior to the ship departure," said Dysick. "When this happens, we initiate what we call an emergency support process. We fax the orders to the prime vendors; we arrange for support to get the food loaded onto the ship, and we do it while still supporting our ships that aren't being called away."

Dysick also discussed the added supplies needed for short-notice operations.

"Along with the usual food order to feed the crew of the ship, other supplies are needed," he said. "For hurricane relief operations, besides our basic food requirements, we [request] an excess order of water and MREs, [meals ready to eat] particularly for the disaster areas."

The integration of logistics support representatives (LSR) as a line of communication to the fleet, which began more than seven years ago. Together with the ship, LSRs develop and execute a logistics support plan, filling requirements such as provisions, parts and material, ship store items, fuels and oils, equipment repair, stock and nonstandard purchases, garbage removal, ship and personnel security, recreation and tickets, and receptions.

"Our work specifically helps to keep the warfighter on the ship doing the job they are supposed to do," said Senior Chief Storekeeper (SW) Kirk Bly, customer services officer at Naval Supply Systems Command, FISC Norfolk Group.

"In the past, ships used to have to do working parties and provide bodies for those working parties to get the supplies on the ships, which causes lost man-hours," added Dysick. "Now, with the coordination arranged by the LSRs through FISC, we have contractors working to help load, store and inventory the supplies."

"I've heard a lot of positive feedback regarding the services the LSRs provide to the fleet," said Bly. "They have become distant support to the ship's supply personnel, food service officer, stock control officer, or leading [storekeeper]."

As we enter the second half of hurricane season, ships and LSRs continue to work together, ensuring the fleet is prepared to help in areas of need at a moment's notice.

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