USS Emory S. Land Gets Award for Ship Safety


The secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) recognized Military Sealift Command (MSC) submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) with an award for ship safety during a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., July 7.

These prestigious awards recognize Navy and Marine Corps units for unparalleled safety achievements during 2010,” said SECNAV Ray Mabus, in a message released in June 2011 announcing the winners. “Safety and risk management are intrinsic to effectively prepare for and complete our mission, whether at home or deployed in harm’s way.

Lt. Cmdr. Antolino Colon, Emory S. Land’s ship safety officer, accepted the Secretary of the Navy Safety Excellence Award in the afloat, auxiliary category on behalf of his ship.

Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, commander, MSC, also attended the award ceremony.

Mabus presented 18 other awards during the ceremony for outstanding safety achievements in 2010.

“It was a lot of work, but well worth it and truly a testament to the officers that we have on the ship, both active duty and the civil service mariners,” said Colon. “They are incredible people, and we really work hard together.”

Emory S. Land, with a hybrid crew of civil service mariners and Navy Sailors, earned the recognition by aggressively seeking new opportunities to promote shipboard safety. For example, the crew independently aired safety videos on the ship’s closed-circuit system and created and filmed a training video to prevent injuries during operations where crew members are doing physical lifting, which is historically one of the most persistent threats to ship safety.

“These awards promote safety and motivate other crews on other MSC ships to earn the same recognition,” said Kevin Kohlmann, MSC safety officer.

Mabus also honored Naval Sea Systems Command’s T-AKE Acquisition Program with an award in the safety integration in acquisition category. The core T-AKE team, including Thanh Carr, MSC owner’s representative, is responsible for the design and continually improved safety of MSC’s Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo/ammunition ships.

To be eligible for the SECNAV’s safety awards, a ship must first be given a Chief of Naval Operations Afloat Safety Award, presented annually. For 2010, Emory S. Land, MSC ammunition ship USNS Flint (T-AE 32) and large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Pomeroy (T-AKR 316) each received one of these CNO awards, earning the right to display the Navy’s green safety “S” on the ships’ bulwarks.

The way crew members from Flint and Pomeroy took the initiative toward safety and developed their own programs aboard these ships truly made them stand out,” said Kohlmann.

Flint’s major safety initiatives successfully coped with the unique challenge of heat stress while operating for months in the Arabian Gulf. Pomeroy’s contributions to shipboard safety included implementing “Safety Sunday,” a weekly program dedicated to training and equipment checks.

MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
Source: navy, July 8, 2011;