Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Enterprise Completes First Underway Replenishment on 21st Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jesse L. Gonzalez, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (CVN 65) safely completed an underway replenishment (UNREP) Jan. 16 on the fourth day of its 21st deployment.

Enterprise completed the UNREP while steaming ahead towards the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.

During an evolution such as an UNREP, safety plays a key role in bringing supplies across to Enterprise, says Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW) Vincent A. Filpi, the Safety Department's leading petty officer.

"Safety is the name of the game for all Sailors involved," Filpi said. "Our department is always close at hand throughout the course of the entire process. We ensure all Sailors participating in the UNREP adhere to the proper safety guidelines."

From the shot-line thrown across, to the cables that bring on the supplies, the UNREP presents many dangers, not to mention bringing on hazardous materials, jet fuel, and rounds of ammunition.

Being aware of these dangers can help Sailors avoid losing a limb or even one of their shipmates.

"Whether you're on the flight deck or the hangar bay, any number of things can go wrong when you're pulled alongside another ship like this," Filpi said. "One of our biggest safety concerns is snapback, the force generated when a line breaks can cause serious injury or even death.

In addition, Filpi stressed the importance of donning proper safety gear, one of the most common violations of safety rules.

"We do our best to ensure safely executed underway replenishments by completing an operational risk management assessment," said Lt. Cody Schaal, the ship's assistant safety officer. "This helps us anticipate and mitigate safety hazards to reduce the risk of a personnel or equipment casualty."

Thanks to the efforts and careful monitoring by the Safety Department and the rest of the crew, Enterprise took on more than 1.3 million gallons of jet fuel, received about 25 pallets of supplies, and off-loaded 30 empty pallets with the combined efforts of Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8).

"We conducted this UNREP really well, and we did it safely, I'm very proud of how our Sailors performed in this evolution," said Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, Enterprise's commanding officer.

Enterprise Strike Group consists of Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87), Arctic, Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.