USS Iwo Jima ‘Breaks Out Green’ with Consecutive Safety Wins

USS Iwo Jima 'Breaks Out Green' with Consecutive Safety Wins

In a naval message released March 28, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) was named 2011 Chief of Naval Operation (CNO) Safety Award winner.

This year marks the second consecutive year the Atlantic fleet-based amphibious assault ship was recognized for safety excellence.

For Iwo Jima Safety Officer Lt. Cmdr Kevin Corrie, the announcement was a bit of a surprise.

“I thought ‘since we won last year, they’re definitely going to pick someone else this year,'” said Corrie, who has served in the position for the last 22 months.

“Truthfully, it was like getting a Christmas gift you didn’t expect to receive,” he added. “…I definitely felt proud to be a part of such a notable award, but it’s not the Safety Department that earned the award. It’s the crew of the Iwo Jima who deserves the real recognition.”

Areas of consideration for the award came from the crew’s high-operational tempo in support of two separate continuous maintenance availability (CMAV); participation in highly visible Fleet Week events, completing pre-deployment certification exercises; and pre- and post-holiday periods.

“I think that ‘safety culture’ is driven from the top down,” Corrie said. “Our senior leadership demands safety from the get-go, and senior leadership expects safety to be lead by example from the department head down through the ranks and that’s the standard.”

During the three-month CMAV in February to May, the ship completed a flight deck overhaul, installed key navigation and combat systems upgrades all while recording no serious Class A or B mishaps.

Prior to participating in Fleet Week New York and again in Port Everglades, Fla., the ship netted the highest marks of any ship in the fleet by Afloat Training Group, Atlantic, during Unit Level Training Assessment -Sustainment inspection.

“Iwo Jima is a remarkable ship and the vibe here is great,” said Corrie. “This is a hard tour to leave, but I can honestly say that this has been one of the most rewarding tours in my career, tough words most aviators wouldn’t dare say.

“I’ll be watching message traffic for the three-peat after I depart the pattern for sure,” he added.

In addition to the recognition, the winning commands will receive a plaque; a CNO citation; and are authorized to paint a green safety “S” on the bulwark of the ship.

Iwo Jima, along with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit Marines, deployed March 27 on regularly scheduled, eight-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and the 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

Naval Today Staff , April 04, 2012; Image: navy