SAN DIEGO – The amphibious tran¬sport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) achieved another readiness milestone with the successful completion of its Supply Management Certification (SMC) Jul. 10, achieving an overall grade of excellent.
SMC is a comprehensive assessment evaluating the current condition, administration, accountability, and operation of the unit's logistics support. The objective of the certification is to determine if each mission area can effectively support the unit in performing its primary mission.
“Lt. Souksavatdy, the supply officer, and her team of logistics professionals are second to none. I have taken great joy while watching them make New Orleans’ supply department a model for all San Antonio Class LPDs,” said Capt. Douglas Verissimo, the ship’s commanding officer.
The inspection conducted by Afloat Training Group (ATG) Pacific, comes after months of preparation by supply personnel. Personnel assigned to the supply department started preparing for the inspection after the ship left the BAE Systems Shipyard last December.
“Our entire department worked day-in and day-out, even on weekends, in order to ensure a successful inspection,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Richard Martel. “With all of the time we dedicated were very excited to hear the results,”
In order to be certified, New Orleans needed to score at least an 80 percent in all aspects of supply and earn a total score above 85 percent to be eligible for the Logistics Excellence Blue "E" Award.
Postal service scored a 92.93 and food service received a 96.89 for maintaining high standards of sanitation, accountability of products and exceptional customer service. Retail operations showed their equipment operability and security requirements were mission ready by scoring a 88.22. General stores maintained their inventories scoring a 92.61. With an overall score of excellent, New Orleans is eligible for the Blue “E”.
"Although 80 percent is the minimum score required in all mission areas to achieve certification, the department strived to go above and beyond,” said Lt. Amphay Souksavatdy, the ship’s supply officer. “We were able to achieve this milestone with not only the support of supply department, but due to the aid of engineering department, Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, and SEMAT,"
SEMAT, or the Ship Engineering Maintenance Assistance Team, is a stand-alone program sponsored/provided by Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet that was able to help repair everything from under-counter refrigerators to tilting kettles. During their time on board, they were able to provide vital training to junior engineers.
SMC not only identifies discrepancies in the ship's logistics system, but it helps to maintain the crew's morale assessing the way supply department does business in the ship's store, laundry, and food service facilities.
New Orleans is the second ship in Navy's San Antonio class of ships, designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessels. The fourth in the U.S. fleet to bear the name, New Orleans was commissioned in March 2007. The ship combines 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and warfighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft, and is capable of taking nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines into harm's way.