-- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) received an overall inspection grade of 95.22 percent on her Supply Management Certification (SMC), Aug. 5-9, giving Stethem the highest logistical readiness score of all seven destroyers in Commander Destroyer Squadron Fifteen.
Stethem’s Supply Department is comprised of three divisions: General Stores (S1), Food Service (S2), and Retail Operations (S3). There are 47 personnel, including Food Service Assistants, or Steelworkers, who are temporarily assigned duties to the S2 Division.
In early July, the Supply Department began focusing on preparations for SMC when the Limited Training Team, a small group of Afloat Training Group (ATG) experts, conducted a smaller scale assessment of Stethem’s logistical readiness. After this assessment, Lt. Douglas R. Bishop, Stethem’s Supply Officer, led his department through the preparation for the official inspection of SMC.
“Supply is a unique department in that it serves every other department,” said Bishop. “We provide the tools and parts needed for all the maintenance done on the ship, as well as the service to the crew such as meals and the ship store, which all contribute to Stethem’s overall readiness and crew moral.”
For example, Hazardous Material Control and Management is just one of the responsibilities of S1 Stores Division.
“I make sure all the hazardous material is issued and stored properly to keep the ship safe. But preparing for the inspection was an all hands effort,” said Logistics Specialist Second Class Petty Officer Roberto Martinezromero. “My drive was my Chief, he’s done so much for our whole division, and so we all gave this inspection 110percent to give back all he’s done for us.”
S2 prepares all the meals on board the ship and scored a 100 percent in Food Service Crew Support. Culinary Specialist Third Class Mikyraa C. All elaborated on her duty as Galley Watch Captain, and said that it is her job to serve and feed the whole crew. “We try to make it fun, and always have a smile on.”
“It’s a daily thing we do to serve the crew—it makes no difference whether we are being inspected,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Clayton J. Street.
S3 was also rated overall “Excellent” including a 100percent on the inventory of the bulk storeroom, and high scores for the Ship’s Store, laundry and barber shop. With a rate title of Ship’s Serviceman, Sailors in this division are specifically customer service oriented. For example, Ship’s Serviceman (SH) Seaman Jerimiah C. Williams was just recently designated as an SH in June and is already Stethem’s secondary Barber, “It’s my duty to make the customer happy,” he said.
“The Supply Department is a crucial role to a ship’s overall readiness and morale of the crew,” said Cmdr. Christopher Adams, Stethem’s commanding officer.
Stethem is part of Destroyer Squadron 15, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, to support security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.