Logisticians Assume the Watch
Story Number: NNS091024-06
Release Date: 10/24/2009 5:24:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Johnny Michael, USS Wasp Public Affairs
CARIBBEAN SEA (NNS) -- A new rating has emerged onboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). Two weeks after the official merger of the Storekeeper (SK) and Postal Clerk (PC) ratings, Sailors in the new Logistics Specialist (LS) rating have quietly assumed the watch on the deployed big deck.
The conversion from SK and PC ratings to LS was made official on Oct. 1 for active-duty Sailors according to NAVADMIN 326/08. The SK rating badge will be used to represent the new LS rating. All PC personnel are required to convert uniform rating badges to the SK rating badge no later than Oct. 1, 2011.
As an element of the Navy's total force strategy, this merger will capitalize on the knowledge, skills and abilities found in the two ratings and apply them toward a unified mission according to the NAVADMIN. Senior Chief Logistics Specialist (SW/AW) Fernando Arlanza said this will be a positive change for the Navy.
"In most small ships that are not billeted for postal clerk, the storekeepers are doing the work already and it's been successful," said Arlanza, Wasp's most senior logistics specialist. "Both ratings just need more technical training to completely perform the work and the LS PQS will be the driving force to learn both jobs. Now that the Navy is taking a bigger step to train Sailors to do a wider variety of jobs, I believe the merger will benefit the Navy in the future."
The Navy's technical advisor for the supply ratings, Master Chief Postal Clerk (SW/AW) Ron Guyton, helped with the merger and explained this was a change that was necessary.
"Over the past several years, the postal clerk rating has been shrinking. We went from having an enlisted authorization of almost 1,000 people, and now we're down to 645. It's at a point now that we're losing billets faster than we lose people, which stifles promotion," said Guyton.
The SK rating existed for 93 years prior to the merge while PCs had been around for almost 50 years. The LS merger is the second such rate merge in six years. In 2003 the aviation storekeepers (AK) merged with the SK.
One of the few legacy AKs left on Wasp, Senior Chief Logistics Specialist (SW/AW) Rene Liban, said that being merged for the second time in his career comes as a surprise, but the positives of the merger will benefit everyone involved.
"It opens new possibilities for the smaller rates and gives everyone a different avenue to learn more aspects of the logistics field," said Liban. He also noted that there will be challenges, but that the Navy has done an excellent job of setting Sailors up for success. "As a Chief I am the technical expert; I now have to train myself in another rate to be able to lead all of my people. The PQS that was developed was a good idea because it will help ease that process."
Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Nyto Griffen also sees the change as a positive and expects the new training he will receive will carry over in the private sector.
"I like the merger because it opens up different job skill sets," said Griffen. "Besides, I can use those skills if I get out of the Navy. More job skills, more money."
Wasp and the Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task Force are working alongside Mayport-based Destroyer Squadron 40 during a three-month deployment to build and instill interoperability and cooperation between U.S. and partner nation naval forces through a variety of exercises as part of Southern Partnership Station.
For more news from USS Wasp (LHD 1), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd1/.
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