USS Kearsarge Receives 2013 SECNAV Safety Excellence Award

Amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) was awarded the 2013 Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Safety Excellence Award for fiscal year 2012, July 2. 

The award recognizes the Kearsarge Safety department’s outstanding performance in the areas of safety and risk management in the work environment with an excellent command safety program.

“This award is not just for big deck amphibious ships like the CNO Safety “S” award we got back in March,” said Lt. Nickolaus Kesler, Kearsarge safety officer. “This is for the best amphibious ship in the fleet. We may have slips and falls but we are open and transparent about it. It goes straight down to the deckplates. Sailors are taking care of each other out there. They are actively incorporating safety into the workplace and it is evident out here.”

Despite the many potential hazardous conditions throughout the ship, Kesler said our safety program is designed to be an integral part of every day life around the ship and that is why its success is reflected across the fleet.

“People take care of each other and take safety into account,” said Kesler. “It takes hard work and dedication from people who bring a mix of skills and strengths. This award recognizes the time and effort that is dedicated to our safety mission.”

Kearsarge earned the right to fly the SECNAV Safety Flag for one year and will receive a plaque and citation. The accomplishments are proof of a positive safety mission in the command culture and a commitment to each other for safety excellence.

“This award is about taking proactive measures and making an impact,” said Kesler. “Losing two of my good friends in a safety mishap not only affected me but changed the command climate drastically. I want to prevent that from happening on this ship. Educating the crew on good safety habits and ensuring everyone makes it home in one piece is my mission.”

Kearsarge is the flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, and with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

Press Release, July 19, 2013