Story by SN Alana Langdon on 08/22/2017Chief of Naval Operations Afloat Safety Award, FY 2016, was awarded to the hybrid crew of Sailors and Military Sealift Command (MSC) civilian mariners aboard the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), Aug. 21, in Portland, Ore.
Christopher D. Thayer, U.S. Navy's MSC Director, Contractor Operated Ships arrived aboard and praised Frank Cable's safety program, which maintained safe and healthy working conditions for 810 Navy and MSC personnel, throughout 2,965 in-theater repairs to forward-deployed submarines and surface vessels of 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.
"I read all 13 pages of the write up and this is a very comprehensive safety program lead by Lt. Gonzalez," said Thayer. "I was involved, back in the early 2000's, in the decisions to transfer the submarine tenders to the hybrid crew. It's amazing how far we've come and I wanted to thank this crew."
Safety Officer Lt. Malia Gonzalez and Safety Department's Chief Damage Controlman Cyprus Abundo, teamed up with MSC Deck Department 3rd Officer Darrel V. Tracy to coordinate Frank Cable's safety program.
"This award is a reflection of our command climate," said Tracy. "Our guys don't need safety police because they use our program's procedures and look out for each other. Yes, we're in a hurry, but the climate is to take the time to do jobs safely."
Tracy heads up fall protection safety and regularly inspects deck department equipment to ensure standards are met.
"I think this award is well-deserved, especially for Gonzalez and Abundo," said Tracy. "We have a hybrid crew and it's a big success that we have created a diplomatic and cooperative command that goes above standard."
Safety on Frank Cable went beyond just work. Total command mishaps dropped by more than 41% in 2016. The crew took it upon themselves to complete a ship-wide 10 day intensive preservation plan, removing workplace health hazards and corrosion. Sailors and civilian mariners also receive regular safety training and are frequently tested on their knowledge and capability to operate equipment.
"We take the time give proper training, which makes safety a clear standard onboard," said Abundo. "Our safety team does a great job of implementing the program and we will always take time to educate the crew. It's simple, we train and we hold each other accountable."
Frank Cable is currently in Portland, Ore., undergoing a scheduled dry-dock maintenance availability, receiving critical preservation and repairs that will add to her award-winning safety program.