BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY
Story by Seaman Apprentice Mariterese Merrique
U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia
DIEGO GARCIA, British Indian Ocean Territory (Dec. 15, 2020) – Sailors assigned to Naval Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka Site Diego Garcia (NAVSUP FLCY Site Diego Garcia) supervised the unloading of provisions and supplies from the cargo ship SLNC Corsica at Alpha Wharf on Diego Garcia, from Nov. 24, 2020 to Dec. 4, 2020.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka’s mission is to serve the Asia Pacific Region’s forward deployed maritime warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver fuel, material, mail and supply chain services across the U.S. Navy’s largest geographical area of responsibility.
Every month, the cargo ship SLNC Corsica comes from Singapore to Diego Garcia with a shipment of food, repair parts, construction material and other essential items to support the population on the island.
Under NAVSUP FLCY Site Diego Garcia supervision, contractors entrusted with unloading the ship remove the containers and arrange them based on contents and final destination on the island. Then British Indian Ocean Territory customs agents check each container to prevent illegal substances and foreign insects from reaching the island’s populace. With clearance to proceed, contractors empty the containers and transfer the contents to a large warehouse called the Transportation Shed. In the following days, cargo recipients retrieve their products and take them to their locations.
The emptied containers are then sanitized, and U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman inspect the cleanliness of the containers with NAVSUP FLCY Site Diego Garcia observing their results. If the results are good, supplies are loaded on the cargo ship for the return trip to Singapore.
“It’s nice to be involved with things that directly affect people on the island,” said Lt. j.g. James Powers, the material management officer. “Seeing things like the Corsica where they’re bringing materials for construction projects on the island and they’re bringing food, mail and packages for people – the most rewarding part is seeing the impact. It came on the Corsica, which is something that the annex that I’m overseeing is responsible for.”
Inventory is relayed to Naval Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka (NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka) and the Sailors on the Diego Garcia site still keep track of the work the contractors do when the Corsica is not in port. They also have the Material Management; HAZMAT Control and Management Services and Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants (POL) Management and Operations departments under their supervision.
As Performance Assessment Representatives (PAR), Sailors assigned to the Diego Garcia site conduct performance assessments weekly and report back to Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC). They are also Technical Points of Contact (TPOC) for contractors who have any questions about the jobs.
Logistics Specialist 1st Class John Stackhouse, a material management PAR, said that they have to definitely know the contract and regulations that they’re enforcing so the instructions are clear and correct.
Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODDS), U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia, and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit are among the places on the base that store hazmat. Each locker is checked often and the results are reported to NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka.
“We’ll monitor the contractors while they’re doing inspections,” Powers said. “We make sure that they’re looking for the same things we are, and that they’re going through the checklist. If they see something wrong, they’re not going to cut anyone a break. They never have.”
NAVSUP FLCY Site Diego Garcia also manages the handling of unaccompanied baggage for Sailors stationed on Diego Garcia. They ensure that whether the haul is incoming or leaving, it is handled with care, packaged properly, and labeled correctly.
U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia provides logistic support to operational forces forward deployed to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf areas of responsibility in support of national policy objectives.
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