NEWS | Dec. 23, 2020

NAVSUP completes its support role to USS Mount Whitney

By NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Public Affairs

In mid-December, civilian, military and Italian national members of Naval Supplies Systems Command (NAVSUP) completed their support role during a months-long regular overhaul (ROH) to the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), while the U.S. 6th Fleet’s flagship was berthed at the San Giorgio del Porto in Genoa, Italy.

During ROH vessels dry dock, allowing a ship to be out of the water to perform routine maintenance.

“During ROH maintenance periods, our contracting professionals define a workable ship repair package, promote competition among qualified shipyards and then award the contract,” said Joseph Van Gorp, Ship Repair Supervisor who led NAVSUP’s contracting team. “After award, our team manages the ship repairs negotiating any additional work that may occur and verify that the project progresses in accordance with the contract terms, conditions and deadline.”                                                              

The contracting package for Mount Whitney’s ROH includes remodeling the entire bridge and its systems. It also includes installation of a new propeller, shaft, maintenance on boilers and flight deck repair and preservation. While the ship is in dry dock, crews paint all surfaces that are below the waterline and apply anti-fouling coating system.

“Delivering our contracting services for the Mount Whitney in a COVID-19 environment meant we faced challenges to a timely completion of the ROH,” said Van Gorp. “Delays to the Mount Whitney’s repair schedule resulting from the pandemic environment were mitigated by our ability to ensure clear communications with the Ship’s force, contractors and Military Sealift Command members as the repairs were underway.”

Enter two of NAVSUP’s contracting officers assigned to Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella (FLCSI) Alex Palomar and Maria Di Lieto.

“NAVSUP’s ability to successfully perform our contracting support role for this complex, high-visibility repair project for Mount Whitney depended greatly on the expertise of Alex and Maria,” said Van Gorp.

Palomar served as FLCSI’s key communicator with top leadership at the shipyard and Mount Whitney.

“Alex was our key personnel on-site participating in all meetings with ship yard and Mount Whitney leaders to mitigate any potential problems,” said Van Gorp. “He gathered all information needed to discuss with the contracting team in order to find the best contracting solutions to resolve any daily issues that arose.”

Though working remotely, Maria Di Lieto is one of NAVSUP’s Italian national employees who supported negotiations and contract management.

Besides contracting services, NAVSUP’s other logistics teams who supported Mount Whitney’s ROH included fleet mail center and logistics support center. Continue to follow us for more information about these postal and LSC teams’ efforts in this two part series. 

Mount Whitney, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy, operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil-service mariners in the C6F area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests. Headquartered in Naples, Italy, the 6th Fleet conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

FLCSI is one of NAVSUP's eight globally-positioned logistics centers that provides for the full range of the fleet's military operations. FLCSI delivers solutions for logistics, business and support services to the Navy, Military Sealift Command, Joint and Allied Forces throughout Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central.