Archives for category: Supply Department

Story by MC2 Kathleen O’Keefe
Photo by MC3 Will Tyndall

Every Sailor in the bake shop gathered around a mixer filled with all the ingredients needed to make bread dough. The difference between this dough and all the others made before it is that Certified Master Baker Chef Leslie Bilderback got her hands on it and showed everyone who would listen the secret that turns regular bread dough into a buttery and flaky confection.

Whether she’ll be giving training about bread dough or the proper way to wield a knife, Bilderback will spend a little more than a week aboard Stennis reviewing fundamentals and teaching new techniques and recipes to Stennis’ culinary specialists.

“This is an incredible training ground for aspiring chefs,” said Bilderback. “Sailors have this great work ethic and discipline that a lot of civilians don’t have. This is a unique opportunity that I am so privileged to be a part of.”

During her stay Bilderback will hold training seminars as well as one-on-one training sessions with members of each galley. Some training sessions are geared toward subjects cooks need to work on, but others are driven by things they are interested in learning. “I watch the chefs and assess what things they are doing well and what things they need to work on,” said Bilderback. “They face a lot of challenges that they don’t necessarily have a lot of control over, but we focus on the things we can make better.”

Culinary Specialist Seaman Lindsey Ocampo said the training is helping her perfect her techniques.

“Most of the things she is teaching us about are things I’ve done before, but now I’m learning how to do it the right way,” said Ocampo.

“I’m very excited to learn more in the next few days.”

Bilderback believes proper training can make the job of cooking for 5,000 Sailors a less daunting task.

“The people who want to be in the galley are very easy to motivate and teach, but the challenge is reaching the people that have to be there,” said Bilderback. “I believe that if you give people more control and more understanding about the work they have to do it’s going to make the job less tedious.”

Bilderback has been working with the United States Navy for about five years, traveling to both ships and bases and passing on her knowledge. Though she spent ten years teaching in culinary schools the influx of students over the years made one on one teaching almost impossible. Now when she isn’t working on one of her books, she really enjoys the time she gets to spend with Sailors teaching cooking in a friendly and hands-on atmosphere.

“You can’t sit in a lecture hall and teach cooking,” said Bilderback. “You need that one-on-one time with students to really help them develop into good cooks. I like teaching Sailors because I get time with them that makes them better at their jobs.”

Bilderback said that she had a feeling that working aboard Stennis would be a good experience.

“Almost every ship’s galley is laid out the same way, but the people are always different,” said Bilderback. “I knew this was going to be a good location to work in because the senior leaders are so organized and the junior Sailors have been so enthusiastic, nice and welcoming.”

The ship plans to mark the end of Bilderback’s visit with an Iron Chef competition where they can use the skills they’ve attained in a competitive, yet friendly, atmosphere.

Until then, Stennis’ Culinary Specialists will spend the next few days soaking up as much culinary knowledge as they can while also enjoying the experience.

“She can teach us about more than just baking,” said Ocampo. “She knows a lot about cooking, preparing salads and many other things. A lot of us are really looking forward to this experience and at the end of the day, it’s just cool to be working with and learning from a master baker.”


Story by MC3 Dugan Flynn
Photo by MC2 Walter Wayman

Moving 450,000 gallons of JP5, 300 pallets of vital stores, and more than 30 pallets of crew mail could be considered a great effort, but that’s exactly what sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis accomplish each week.

Teams comprised of Sailors from Supply, Air, and Deck Departments, as well as many others, come together to perform replenishments at sea (RAS) on a regular basis while on deployment.

“RAS are vital not only operationally, but also for crew support,” said Boatswains Mate 2nd Class (SW/SC) Alex Armour, a rig captain assigned to Stennis’ Deck Department. “It’s the method which we receive fuel and necessary stores that come aboard the ship. It’s also important because that’s how we get our mail. It has a great impact on morale to allow personnel to get packages and letters from loved ones back home.”

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Smith, the Fuels Boatswain, said when flight operations are in progress, the aircraft on board consume an average of 120,000 gallons a day and must replenish up to 1,000,000 gallons every seven to ten days.

“Without fuel, our planes can’t fly and we’re dead in the water,” said Smith. “To maintain sustainability and launch aircraft, it’s very important that we get the fuel, clean it and deliver it to the planes.”

To ensure the fuel is the best quality Stennis could possibly receive, the fuel lab must run a series of tests on it before filling the ship’s fuel tanks.

“The first thing we do when we take in fuel from another ship is make sure it’s JP5,” said Smith. “At the beginning of the fueling process, we take a sample to the Quality Assurance lab. The main thing I’m looking for is the appearance and flashpoint to be 140 degrees or above.”

During extended periods out at sea, a RAS is important to bring the supplies to the ship when it isn’t feasible to pull into a port.

“The main importance of a RAS is to replenish the carrier out at sea,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Gerard Penrose, Stennis’ hangar bay and safety coordinator for the RAS. “This allows us to stay on station so we don’t have to pull into port every time we need to get supplies again.”

It takes the efforts and teamwork of the entire ship to complete a RAS and ensure the whole evolution is safe and efficient said Penrose.

“The RAS is not just a supply evolution,” said Penrose, “It’s an entire ship evolution. We as supply couldn’t do it without Deck Department, the Navigation team, the Bridge team; every individual plays a key role in the successful onload of materials onboard the ship.”

Replenishments at sea play a vital role for ship’s readiness by maintaining maximum efficiency while conducting extended operations out to sea.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Carla Ocampo
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Timothy Aguirre

Stennis passed a Supply Management Inspection (SMI) with an outstanding grade June 4, which resulted in inspectors awarding Navy Achievement Medals and coins to more than 20 Sailors.

Every 18 months, Stennis’ supply department goes through an SMI, in which a team of inspectors checks to see if the supply department is up to standards in all areas of responsibility.

Supply department is responsible for crew essentials such as the galleys, laundry and ship’s mail. They also manage morale-boosting amenities, such as ship’s stores, vending machines and the barber shop. Hazmat and stock control also fall under supply department’s jurisdiction.

The SMI team visited the ship June 2-4 to inspect all supply divisions and make sure food and stock materials were accounted for.

“Supply and all of the divisions have been preparing for SMI since we got out of the shipyard in December,” said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Glenda Atwood (SW/AW), S-2’s leading chief petty officer.

SMI was just another hurdle for supply department. Last year, supply helped provide Stennis with needed consumables during PIA, earning the 2010 Edward F. Ney award.

Supply department had a supply management assessment two months prior to SMI to help prepare them for the inspection. During that time, they assessed areas needing improvement and worked to correct discrepancies.

“We worked 16 hour days,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Nicholas Zaricor, aft galley watch captain. “We had many heavy field days, while making sure our equipment was operational and safe, and made sure everything was up to date on our admin side.”

After two days of inspections, supply received a passing grade in all areas from cleanliness to admin.

“It’s a huge relief, a weight off our shoulders, but even though the inspection is over our standards have to remain at the same level,” said Zaricor.

“We are the heart beat and morale of the ship,”

Supply’s performance during SMI displays their ability to support the crew with services and ameneties which enhance the quality of life for all hands. Stennis is currently underway for Joint Task Force Training Exercise in preparation for deployment.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathleen O’Keefe
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dugan Flynn

The Navy’s Supply Corps has been providing essential supplies to the fleet for 216 years and supports the lives and missions of Sailors all over the world.

Stennis celebrated the Supply Corps birthday yesterday during a cake cutting ceremony in Ward Room 3.

“We touch every department,” said Cmdr. Kristen Fabry, Stennis’ Supply Officer. “I think we have one of the biggest influences on morale day to day. We help out food services, the barber shop and laundry. We make sure we have everything to keep the ship going.”

In 1795, the burgeoning Supply Corps, led by the country’s first Purveyor of Public Supplies, Tench Francis, supported the Navy’s six frigates. Since that time, the corps has evolved to provide services to hundreds of ships and shore commands around the globe.

The Supply Corps is composed of 2,694 active duty and 954 reserve officers who are the Navy’s premier logisticians and business professionals. They are supported by more than 19,000 supply community enlisted personnel, which include logistics specialists, ship’s servicemen, and culinary specialists.

“It is my belief that at any command, morale rests in the hands of those in the Supply Department,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick D. West. “Whether delivering a much needed part, supplying items within the ship’s store, or preparing the meals for our Warriors, those actions can single-handedly set the tone for morale within a command and the Navy.”

Last year the Supply Corps filled more than 600,000 requisition orders from the fleet, processed nearly $5.6 billion in sales and served more than 92 million meals at more than 300 afloat and ashore Navy galleys.

Aboard Stennis, supply officers continue to work together to provide all necessary items as the ship prepares to sail through INSURV and onto its scheduled deployment this summer.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathleen O’keefe
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate

Past the procession of hungry Sailors, behind the serving line and deep inside the galley, an orchestra of food preparation occurs every day. Hot ovens dole out warm dishes while culinary specialists (CS) slice, dice and serve nourishing meals to personnel every day.

Though cooking a meal for thousands of Sailors isn’t an easy task, Stennis’ CSs make it look like a piece of cake.

Each day CSs reference scheduled meal plans prearranged by the Navy Food Management Team. When the actual meal preparations begin, CSs utilize recipe cards, which are fleet-wide standard cooking instructions. Whether the dish is broccoli or chocolate chip cookies, a recipe card exists containing instructions for preparation, nutritional information, ingredients and internal temperature specifications.

“We have recipe cards because the Navy has done tests and found the right way to cook our food,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Donald Brazier. “They tell us how to make the food pleasant and safe to eat.”

Recipe cards contain the necessary information to make 100 servings of a particular dish, and conversions must be made to make enough food to feed the entire ship.

When CSs make too much food or too little, it is logged in a computer system which then averages the amount of a particular product consumed. That number makes its way to the food preparation worksheet that arranges how many portions of food will be prepared in the future.

Despite proper planning, sometimes more people eat a certain food than the worksheet estimates and more dishes need to be prepared on the fly.

“I’d say the galley can be one of the craziest places on this ship,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Andy Rodriguez. “Sometimes there is enough food and sometimes we are running and scrambling to make sure people have enough to eat. We work as a team to get the job done and everyone here is good at what they do.”

When meal hours end, CSs must also maintain a strict cleaning regimen. For sanitary purposes, galleys are scrubbed clean before and after every meal. Plates, pots, pans, glasses and silverware are carefully arranged so they do not gather dust.

“It can be very stressful in the galley because we are always cooking and cleaning,” said Brazier. “Despite the stress, I want to make sure that a tired and dirty Sailor coming off the flight deck has a good meal in him before he hits his rack. It gives me personal satisfaction knowing I make a difference.”

Just as JP-5 fuels a jet and nuclear propulsion powers the ship, CSs make sure the crew is fueled up and ready to take on another day at sea.

100527-N-3707A-047 SEATTLE (May 27, 2010) Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Harold Dayse, left, from Beaumont, Texas, and Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Francine Henry, from Miami, cook live on the set of the King 5 TV Show, New Day Northwest, with talk show host Margaret Larson. Dayse and Henry are stationed aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and were invited to cook on the show in honor of Memorial Day. In February, Stennis won the 2010 Navy Capt. Edward F. Ney Memorial Award for food service excellence among U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Timothy Aguirre/Released)

%d bloggers like this: