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Kearsarge Posts Ultra High Marks on Conventional Ordnance Safety Review

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071010-06
Release Date: 10/10/2007 11:43:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Lange, USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

ABOARD USS KEARSARGE (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) received the official outstanding results Sep. 28 for a Conventional Ordnance Safety Review conducted earlier this summer.

The weeklong inspection focused on the condition of the magazines as well as the Retail Ordnance Logistics and Management System, which tracks the movement of ordnance. The inspection also ensured the ship’s ordnance is properly monitored, stowed and ready for issue.

“The purpose of the inspection is to inspect and improve the ship’s handling of ordnance. Safety is always the largest concern in the weapons environment and this inspection ensures the department is doing everything safely and correctly,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Victoria Richert.

The inspection is conducted before a ship deploys, or after an onload of ammunition and ordnance. Inspectors from Norfolk Naval Base come aboard the ship while in port to inspect the ordnance handling procedures.

“The magazines are inspected for cleanliness, safety, and stowage. The team is also looking at the physical condition of the spaces as well as the accountability of the ammunition,” said Senior Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Daniel Robbins.

“The inspectors conducted high-detail inspections on all ordnance spaces, elevators, hoists, sprinkler systems, and how ordnance is stored,” said Richert. “Kearsarge was given high grades in all areas.”

When conducting inspections, the inspectors look for safety discrepancies such as unsafe handling techniques and proper use of equipment. Inspectors also found Sailors involved with the handing of ordnance were highly qualified to do so, and all safety publications dealing with ordnance were onboard and up to date and all logs of maintenance and temperature of magazine store rooms were logged.

Other items, such as the Rolling Airframe Missile, the surface-to-air Sea Sparrow missile system, and the compatibility of ordnance was also certified discrepancy free.

The ship must achieve an 80 percent or higher during the grading process in order to be considered passing.

“We achieved a score of 99.997 percent, and were told we did the best of the ships in our class,” said Robbins.

“The inspection prepares the ship for deployment by ensuring mission readiness, because without this certification, we cannot go on deployment,” said Robbins.

Kearsarge is currently on a regularly-scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations.



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