By Candice Villarreal, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center San Diego Corporate Communications
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) San Diego is hard at work providing nourishment for thousands of Sailors this September as it supports the ongoing "3-Carrier Swap" evolution from its headquarters in San Diego.
The command's Subsistence Prime Vendor team, charged with procuring the food that sustains afloat Navy units in the region, is playing a pivotal role in feeding the nearly 9,000 Sailors assigned to the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as they make their way through the unprecedented swap. An estimated 1,200 of those crew members will have served aboard all three aircraft carriers as part of the evolution and have been dubbed the "Three Presidents Crew."
"This is the most food we've ever procured at one time and in such a short period," said Monet Bernhardt, prime vendor supervisor. "It's a lot of communication, coordination and busy days, but in this line of work you have to do whatever it takes to get those ships underway."
To date, the San Diego SPV team has processed thousands of line item orders totaling more than $10.5 million in subsistence for the swap, with that number set to increase significantly before the evolution is complete. To put that figure into perspective, a total of more than 200,000 cases of chill, dry and frozen provisions, 23,440 cases of fresh fruits and vegetables and 5,496 gallons of fresh milk were loaded onto Ronald Reagan and George Washington to ready them for sea.
The benefits of the SPV team's support don't stop when the ships set sail. In addition to the pierside load-outs, the command also processed separate container orders for George Washington, ensuring another million dollars' worth of food will be pre-staged and ready for the ship as it arrives in ports along its South American route.
"That's the beauty of logistics," said Commanding Officer Capt. John Palmer. "It is a strategic art to be able to execute vital support for any operation, anywhere around the globe, and at any time. It's what keeps the ships steaming and enables the warfighters to take the fight to the enemy, where it belongs."
Ronald Reagan departed San Diego Aug. 31 to relieve George Washington as the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan, following a 10-day hull swap. Later this month, George Washington will also depart San Diego to make its way around South America to its destination in Newport News, Virginia, where it will begin its mid-life refueling complex overhaul.
Theodore Roosevelt, currently in the midst of a scheduled deployment, set sail from Norfolk, Virginia, in March and will take Ronald Reagan's place on the west coast upon its return. The SPV team will begin supporting Theodore Roosevelt's requirements as the flattop enters the command's area of responsibility later in its deployment. Those efforts will serve as the command's last leg of support in completing its final phase of the 3-carrier evolution.
"Historically, this is unprecedented," said Michael Novak, subsistence prime vendor operator. "Just because we've got a high-tempo evolution to support doesn't mean the rest of our support to the fleet stops. Playing a part in such a big logistical puzzle is really meaningful work."
Because the SPV team supports all vessels in their area of responsibility, the colossal support required for the carrier swap is in addition to their ongoing subsistence procurement for other ships in their area of operations.
"Our job is to send the Sailors to sea with all of the food and nutrition they need to sustain them as they go out and complete their missions," said Novak. "I think I speak for the whole team when I say we are very proud when we see our happy customers operating forward."
NAVSUP FLC San Diego, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), provides global logistics, business and support services to fleet, shore and industrial commands of the Navy, Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and allied forces. Services include contracting, regional transportation, fuel, material management, household goods movement support, postal and consolidated mail, warehousing, global logistics and husbanding, hazardous material management, and integrated logistics support.
NAVSUP GLS provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of more than 6,500 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units, and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.