CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore – Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Crew 103, currently embarked aboard the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) was announced as a recipient of the FY-2014 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Afloat Safety Award, April 15.
In an official naval message released by the Navy Safety Center, LCS Crew 103 was named winner of the award for Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, littoral warfare category.
According to the message, this award recognizes outstanding contributions to fleet readiness, increased morale, efficiency and economical use of resources through safety. In addition to an outstanding safety record, LCS Crew 103 had an aggressive safety program that actively contributed to increased mishap prevention, including comprehensive and professional internal safety reporting.
Fort Worth is the first LCS to deploy under the "3-2-1" manning concept, which allows LCS to sustain a 16-month forward presence without fatiguing the crew during the extended deployment. Under this concept, three rotational crews will support two LCS ships and maintain one deployed ship.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Diaz, LCS Crew 103’s safety officer, their safety program applies to them wherever they go.
"Being part of a rotational crew and in the LCS community means that whenever Crew 103 takes command of an LCS ship we take our safety standards with us," said Diaz. "Whether its USS Freedom (LCS 1) in San Diego, USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) here in the 7th Fleet, or the future USS Detroit (LCS 7), which we sail out of the Great Lakes in late 2015, wherever we go, our standards go with us."
As part of the 3-2-1 manning concept, Crew 103 is not always embarked aboard an LCS and will continue training on shore at LCS Squadron (LCSRON) 1 headquarters in San Diego.
“We continually review safety programs in our ‘off-hull’ status to include heat stress, hearing conservation, tag out procedures and electrical safety,” said Diaz. “We also conduct our quarterly safety committee and council meetings. Additionally, we continue with a rigorous off-hull training plan that includes safety training in the areas of operational risk management, safety stand-downs and continuing to monitor the health of the ship’s safety program, that way when we go back on hull we are in a safety mindset from the start.”
According to Chief Operations Specialist John Dubose, LCS Crew 103’s assistant safety officer, safety is a 24-hour concern, which is why the crew covered many off-duty safety topics during training. These included; traffic safety, summer safety, alcohol awareness, general motorcycle safety, firearm safety, water safety, off-road vehicle safety and boating safety.
"Safety is everyone's responsibility in the Navy, whether a Sailor is on duty or off duty," said Dubose. "The departmental safety representatives for LCS Crew 103, as well as the entire crew as a whole, take that to heart and that’s what it takes to win an award such as this one."