USS Underwood, Carr Resupply At Sea With USNS Sacagawea
The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates USS Underwood (FFG 36) and USS Carr (FFG 52) took part in an underway replenishment (UNREP) at sea with the supply ship USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2), Aug. 20.
The evolution included refueling by suspended lines and a vertical replenishment (VERTEP) utilizing an SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 Detachment 2 stationed aboard Carr.
Underwood took on approximately 120,000 gallons of fuel oil and 14,000 gallons of JP-5 (jet fuel) from Sacagawea in an evolution that took two hours to complete.
"We were running low on fuel and needed it badly," said Senior Chief Gas Turbine System Technician William Schmelling, the senior enlisted mechanic aboard Underwood. "Evolutions like these take a while and require a lot of planning to ensure it goes smoothly. The whole crew is involved and without them we can't complete the refueling."
Underwood also received 23 pallets of various supplies such as equipment parts, food, and mail during the resupply process.
"I am always happy when I can do my job and get the supplies that everyone ordered to the ship," Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Jeremy Cole on Underwood said. "The best thing is that we received mail and that is an important boost for the morale of the crew."
An all-hands working party was stationed to break down the pallets and to move the supplies to the various spaces where they were needed throughout the ship.
"Every member of the crew was motivated to help and they always come together to help each other out for the greater good of the ship," Underwood Command Master Chief Michael P. Bates said.
After the completion of the resupply at sea, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) P-3, operating out of National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville (NASOC-JAX), air dropped a sealed capsule containing mission essential parts for the air detachment assigned to HSL 48 Detachment 3 stationed aboard Underwood.
"It was interesting to see a P-3 that close and I hope that the part will do the trick to fix the helicopter," said Operations Specialist Seaman Recruit Aaron Smith, a junior enlisted Sailor aboard Underwood. "I have the best job in the world because I get to see things most people don't ever get to see in their lives."
Underwood Sailors used a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) to recover the capsule from the sea and returned to Underwood.
"We were manned and ready to go as soon as the aircraft was in the area," said Gas Turbine System Technician Brian Stankowitz, one of the search and rescue swimmers and members of the RHIB team aboard Underwood. "I think we definitely accomplished our mission today from start to finish and I am proud to serve with a dedicated crew like this one."
Underwood is deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean in support of U.S. Fourth Fleet and Southern Seas 2012.
Article by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Frank J. Pikul, Southern Seas 2012 Public Affairs