All Hands On Deck… DLA Team Joins Forces to Offload Big Ship Parts

Oct 5, 2023 | Partner News

Defense Logistics Agency Distribution’s newest whole of government partner is the Transportation Department’s Maritime Administration. Supporting MARAD’s fleet of five new state-of-the-art National Security Multi-Mission Vessels, slated for Merchant Marine training and humanitarian assistance, DLA Distribution will provide enduring parts storage and distribution services for more than 800 NSMV items. The largest items, a 40,000-pound propeller shaft and the first of five 12,000-pound anchors, arrived Sept. 20.

Julianna R Walker, a logistics management specialist with MARAD, used to work for DLA Distribution Norfolk, in Virginia. When she realized DOT didn’t have the space to handle oversized shore based spares to maintain the fleet, she immediately reached out to DLA.

“We’ve been working on this relationship for over a year, meeting every two weeks. I knew DLA would be able to support the storage mission,” Walker said.

Jim Mccormack, far right, with Defense Logistics Agency Distribution, joins Julianna Walker, a logistics manager with the Transportation Department’s Maritime Administration, as a DOT owned anchor is unloaded for storage with DLA Distribution at Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Sept. 20, 2023.

The size and weight of the propeller shaft was no challenge for team DLA and DLA Aviation’s Versa-Lift 60/80 forklift with a hydraulic boom. Co-located on NSA Mechanicsburg, the DLA Aviation team came to the rescue to offload the heavy propeller at DLA Distribution Susquehanna’s outside storage area on Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg in Pennsylvania.

“In my over 20 years in the U.S. Navy, I learned that when someone needed a hand, you found a way to help them out. So, when DLA Distribution called needing a hand, we found a way to help them out,” Brian Heath, DLA Aviation equipment manager, said.

When the first ship anchor rolled into DLA Distribution’s outdoor storage area, neighboring DLA Disposition Services was also on hand to assist with a 50,000-pound forklift. DLA Distribution’s Material Handler Supervisor, Donnie Evans ensured the anchor was chained to prevent it from being top-heavy when lifted.

“Working here with all the other DLA entities really helps,” Evans said.

While the propeller and anchors were first to arrive at DDSP, most of the DOT material will be about 2,000 smaller ship spare parts that can be placed in bins or racks within the warehouse. The additional anchors as well as four anchor chains weighing over 100,000 pounds will round out the larger items.

The first NSMV ship, the Empire State VII, has been assigned to the SUNY Maritime College in New York. It was delivered Sept. 25, just a few days after the NSMV spares arrived for safe storage with DLA Distribution.

Johnny Riegel, work leader at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, guides Ryan James, forklift operator for DLA Disposition Services, as he offloads a ship anchor for storage with DLA Distribution at Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Sept. 20, 2023.

By Dawn Bonsell DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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