Preparation, teamwork ensure ships’ safety during tsunami

| March 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Eric Lehman, watercraft operator, 136th Trans. Det., 524th CSSB, 45th Sust. Bde., 8th TSC, looks out to sea while aboard the LSV-2 during recent movement to avert potential danger from the tsunami, March 10. (Spc. Tiffany Dusterhoft | 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Eric Lehman, watercraft operator, 136th Trans. Det., 524th CSSB, 45th Sust. Bde., 8th TSC, looks out to sea while aboard the LSV-2 during recent movement to avert potential danger from the tsunami, March 10. (Spc. Tiffany Dusterhoft | 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

Sgt. Chris Huddleston
45th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sust. Command

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — As Hawaii received tsunami warnings, March 10, following a massive earthquake in Japan, the 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, focused on the safety of two Army Logistics Support Vessels docked at Pearl Harbor.

Soldiers in the 163rd and 605th Transportation detachments, 524th Combat Service Support Battalion, 45th Sust. Bde., and their Reserve counterparts with the 548th Trans. Company, took quick action to prevent any damage to the LSV-2 and LSV-7 vessels.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Carter, commander, 524th CSSB, 45th Sust. Bde., credited the mission’s success to the strong working relationship between the active duty and Reserve component crews, in his official report.

The CW2 Harold C. Clinger LSV-2 is moved to avert potential danger during the tsunami, March 10, following a massive earthquake in Japan. (Spc. Tiffany Dusterhoft | 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

The CW2 Harold C. Clinger LSV-2 is moved to avert potential danger during the tsunami, March 10, following a massive earthquake in Japan. (Spc. Tiffany Dusterhoft | 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

“It’s a pretty strong relationship, where we work together closely,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Benjamin Zollinger, watercraft operations advisor, 8th TSC, who assisted the LSV-7 crew.

During the night, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Patrick Mullally, 163rd Trans. Det., 524th CSSB, 45th Sust. Bde., and vessel master for LSV-2, was advised to either move the LSV-2 out to sea or farther into port to a more protected berth. He rapidly recalled his crew and made the decision to move out to sea. LSV-2 departed at 1:20 a.m., March 11, with a full crew and stayed 12 miles out in open water to avert potential danger, according to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Godfrey, second mate and operations officer for the LSV-2.

“We were up and running and out (to sea) in a timely manner,” Mullally said.

“The timely manning, preparation and movement of LSV-2 was carried out professionally and successfully, ensuring the vessel was not damaged due to the tsunami,” Carter said.

The preparation and movement of 548th Trans. Co.’s LSV-7, an Army Reserve vessel, proved to be much more challenging due to manning requirements, according to Carter. Because its crew is based in Hawaii and on the mainland’s West Coast, active duty augmentation is generally needed if the vessel must be moved for emergencies, he said.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Miki, LSV-7 second mate, 548th Trans. Co., called Zollinger, who was the only licensed vessel-master available to command the LSV-7. Meanwhile, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Ried, 545th Trans. Co., was already aboard the LSV-7 and had begun trying to find available crew members. The assembled crew of 20 Soldiers – five active duty and 15 Reservists – was not quite enough to man the normally 31-member crew, but enough to get underway, Zollinger said.

 

“(The LSV-7 leaders) had to call these guys in, in the middle of the week,” Zollinger said. “They just got a knock on their door in the middle of the night, and they reacted. They didn’t hesitate. I was impressed with the whole operation.

“I don’t think there would be too many of us watercraft warrants who would turn down a call for help,” he said. “I would think that almost all of us would do the same thing.”

Because of its minimal manning, Zollinger said the LSV-7 could not be at sea for more than eight hours. So, the crew swiftly moved the LSV-7 to an inner berth at Pearl Harbor that was more protected.

“The vessel avoided any damage that would have occurred if it stayed berthed at its normal port at Hickam Air Force Base,” Carter said.

Both crews made the right decisions to avoid the risk of facing damage. When LSVs need to be moved for safety, vessel masters take into account the crews’ and the vessels’ capabilities to make the best decision, Carter said.

“Though each vessel master made a different decision to avoid damage from the threat of the tsunami, both vessel masters made prudent choices given their circumstances,” Carter said.

Save

Tags: , , ,

Category: News, Safety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *