Naval supply systems command supports hurricane Katrina relief efforts

Naval supply systems command supports hurricane Katrina relief efforts

Beverly Taylor-Mack

Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history, causing unimaginable devastation and heartbreak throughout the Gulf Coast region. Across the Naval Supply Systems Command enterprise, personnel quickly responded providing operational logistics expertise and support to relief efforts. Here are reports from our activities who were involved in the outstanding work done by the Navy team.

COMFISCS Supports Hurricane Katrina Relief from Jacksonville and Norfolk

Commander, Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers (COMFISCS) teams in Norfolk and Jacksonville have been doing all that they can to support ships deploying from Norfolk and coordinating relief efforts for Navy activities in Pensacola, Pascagoula, Gulfport, and New Orleans.

Report from Jacksonville

By Beverly Taylor-Mack, Public Affairs Officer FISC Jacksonville

FISC Jacksonville has been aggressively supporting victims of the Gulf Coast region following the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The team at FISCJ is coordinating logistics for all Navy forces and activities supporting Joint Task Force (JTF)-Katrina, and has military and civilian personnel from several commands providing 24/7 support.

FISCJ established a Command and Control Cell to coordinate regional requirements. Of primary concern to Navy Region South was getting ground communications established in New Orleans. In the Gulf Coast Region, FEMA requested MREs and cots for temporary personnel.

The FISCJ team executed 41 contracting requirements and modifications for Navy Region Southeast, Navy Region South and Commander, Fleet Forces Command afloat units.

FISCJ contracting personnel are coordinating husbandry type services at New Orleans, to directly enable the JTF–Katrina units to aid relief efforts.

Personnel in the Business Department are coordinating regional relief recovery and financial flow to correctly document and expedite payment of requirements.

Supply Management Department personnel are providing Logistics Support Center services for the growing JTF–Katrina, including preparing for ship loadouts at Mayport/Blount Island, and exercising household Storage In Transit (SIT) authority to appropriately store personal property for the hurricane affected regions.

Industrial Support Department personnel are training a mobile ATAC person to deploy to handle fleet retrograde, and are manning the Command Duty Office to provide coordination and policy guidance.

The Facilities and Fuel Operations Department is tracking all the monumental fuel replenishment requirements, and dispatched a 5,000-gallon tanker of diesel fuel to CBC Gulfport to ensure generator continuity while sourcing longer-term diesel supplies.

Detachment/partner site efforts include logistics flights from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth to New Orleans, LCAC and fleet freight from Panama City, and support to afloat units from Ingleside and Corpus Christi, Texas, and Pensacola, Fla., just to name a few.

CDR Jerry Rivas, Director of FISCJ’s Supply Management Department, deployed to Gulfport as the logistics point of contact for the Region Southeast team, providing on-site expertise, assistance and support.

The other stateside FISCs stand ready to provide assistance to the FISC Norfolk and FISC Jacksonville teams as needed. Clearly there is much more to be done in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural catastrophes in U.S. history.

Report from FISC Norfolk

By Robert Anderson, Public Affairs Officer FISC Norfolk

As directed by the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A variety of requests for assistance were made to DoD because of the unique capabilities it brings to emergency and rescue operations. In an effort to fill those requests NORTHCOM established the Joint Task Force (JTF) Katrina to be the military’s on-scene commander in support of FEMA.

Thanks to the Navy’s new readiness model–the Fleet Response Plan–28 ships were ready to get underway within 24 hours. Fleet Forces Command, responsible for providing ships and personnel in response to this emergency, proactively positioned naval forces in support of relief efforts.

The Navy’s involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations is an important part of a larger, collaborative effort to meet local and state requirements forwarded to NORTHCOM from state governors and FEMA federal coordinators.

Playing no small role in the emergency response effort are the logistics experts of the Naval Supply Systems Command and its various field activities. Before help can be rendered after a catastrophe, the behind the scenes logistics necessary to support that help is almost overwhelming. The knowledge and training of the Navy’s logisticians again has proven to be one of the keys to success.

Support operation from the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk (FISCN) ran around the clock through FISCN’s Logistics Support Center (LSC). For several days operations at FISCN’s LSC were feverish. From Aug. 28 through Sept. 8 waterfront service providers rallied to support USS Tortuga (LSD 46), USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), USS Bataan (LHD 5), rescue and salvage vessel USS Grapple (ARS 53), USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201) and the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20).

The LSC representatives swept the waterfront storage and receiving sites to push deliveries and purchase requirements, escorted trucks to ships, moved material from local vendors to ships, expedited subsistence and medical prime vendor orders, and hand delivered bearers and SERVMART orders.

The Subsistence Prime Vendor (SPV) team ordered and scheduled deliveries for 6,340 gallons of milk, 50,072 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, and 16,271 cases of dry/chill provisions. Super SERVMART opened early and stayed open late as needed to provide service totaling $249,500 and 64 tickets.

The Global Distance Support Center (GDSC) partnered with Navel Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Navy Personnel Development Command (NPDC) to seamlessly handle contacts related to mustering survivors, queries related to survivors, and supply and logistics support for forces moving to or in the Katrina disaster area. The GDSC was able to handle and direct 15 personnel related calls and to process 92 supply and logistics related requirements.

The various LSC teams provided everything from freezer repairs aboard Tortuga to the loadouts of departing ships. They tracked medical supplies, lube oil, paper products and water. They personally made SERVMART runs for pillows, towels and sheet, and delivered them directly to departing ships. Members of LSC’s Team 2 made commissary runs for baby bottles and coordinated provision on-loads. They picked up and delivered MREs. Team 5 shipped medical supplies to Pensacola for staging. Team 1 processed, rearranged and prioritized available provisions to deploying ships from stagnant ships. Fresh fruits and vegetables were processed and prioritized for loading aboard Truman, Iwo Jima and Patuxent. FISCN’s LSC was even able to arrange for Marva Maid to go into emergency production of fresh milk and yogurt to support deployment/Katrina relief requirements emergency orders processed before 7 a.m. were delivered by 1 p.m. the same day.

LSC Team 6 delivered massive amounts of paper products and plastic utensils to Patuxent as well as 2,400 cases of Power Aid and 2,400 cases of water. Team 4 loaded out Bataan prior to her departure.

Although most of the material in support of rescue and recovery operations left by sea, other material was also flown out from the Naval Air Terminal and yes, FISCN’s LSC delivered that material as well.

While FISCN LSC personnel are certainly heroes, they are not alone. FISCN’s Contracting Department also played a big role in the overall effort. Without their purchasing prowess, the material would not have been available for deliver to the departing units.

On Sept. 1-2, two urgent task orders were placed against a contract with the North Carolina State Port Authority for port operation services that included dockage, wharfage and trash disposal in Morehead City, N.C., for Whidbey Island and Shreveport. Both ships on-loaded and transported relief supplies before deploying to the Gulf Coast.

At the same time an urgent purchase order was placed on behalf of Commander, Navy Installations (CNI) with Globalstar USA for 50 satellite phones and associated service and accessories to be used by regional personnel in the Gulf Coast as standard cell phones were rendered inoperable. FISCN’s contracting personnel negotiated a significant savings of $7,200 on the voice and data services, with timely delivery, despite a very high demand for this commodity by competing federal and civil organizations.

FISCN awarded a husbanding contract to Ships Supply of Florida (SSF) for support of naval operations in the Gulf of Mexico. After awarding the contract, FISCN ensured delivery of water and consumable disaster relief supplies to support emergent deployment tasking to Norfolk based ships. The Contracting department also hosted daily coordination teleconferences between FISCN, Navy Region Southeast, FISC Jacksonville (FISCJ) and the husbanding agent to ensure smooth operations and handoff to FISCJ as lead FISC for Katrina operations while FISCN assumed its supporting role.

Although FISCN’s role is a supporting one, there is no mistaking the superb service Norfolk deployers received from the logistics experts who call Norfolk home.

COPYRIGHT 2005 U.S. Department of the Navy, Supply Systems Command

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group