For the Sailors assigned to the Supply Department on board the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), the months that led up to March 22 included many hours of file maintenance, organizing, double-checking and mental preparation.
Every Supply Department Sailor from the supply officer to the most junior seaman were focused and ready for the most comprehensive inspection many of them have ever faced.
On March 22-29, inspectors from Commander, Submarine Force – Pacific Fleet came aboard the Frank Cable to conduct the Supply Management Inspection on the Supply Department.
During the SMI, a group of inspectors verified the processes and procedures of the Supply Department. The main inspection took place during the first three days, while the remaining days were used primarily for the inspectors to provide training and mentorship to the various divisions.
“The Supply Management Inspection comes around every 18 months,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Jamey Smith, leading petty officer of Submarine Supply Assistance Team division. “It is the most critical inspection any supply department on any platform goes through to showcase its supply readiness capabilities.”
In October 2016, the Frank Cable Supply Department underwent a Supply Management Assessment. Although the results of that assessment were less than favorable, it helped to prepare the department for what they can expect to encounter during the SMI.
“The inspection in October was invaluable to the department,” said Lt. Tucker Livingston, customer service officer. “The SUBPAC inspectors are extremely knowledgeable and were able to analyze every aspect of our operation. It was a fantastic training opportunity for everyone from our most junior to senior personnel, especially for Sailors that have not been through such a rigorous inspection.”
The inspectors inspected six divisions of the Frank Cable Supply department including Administration/ Training, Stock Control, Ship Store, Customer Service, Material Division and Quality Assurance. Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Joanna Paras said, the inspection made her nervous but she was confident in her division’s ability to pass.
“At some point I didn’t know what they were asking for but my chain of command had my back and helped me throughout the process,” said Paras.
Logistics Specialist 1st Class Patrice Rice, supply department leading petty officer, said the process was as much a learning experience as it was an inspection.
“This is my first SMI and I think it went really well,” said Rice. “We have a motivated team that spent a lot of long hours making sure everything was ready for the big day and now it’s finally paying off.”
The valiant effort of each division resulted in an overall “Excellent” evaluation for the 2017 SMI. Cmdr. Robert Corley, Frank Cable’s supply officer, said this result is a testament to the hours of training, teamwork, coordination, persistence and supervisory oversight by each and every Supply team member.
“Supply performance has improved significantly since last October, and the results of this SMI provide an indicator that my team’s contributions are vital to the overall success of Supply,” said Corley. “But, we need to continue the momentum and close the gap on perfection. We have some work ahead of us, and I know my team will continue to manage improvements across the range of supply operations on Frank Cable.”
Frank Cable, en route to Portland, Ore. for her dry-dock phase maintenance availability, conducts maintenance and supports submarines and surface vessels deployed to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.