Fleet Forces, PacFlt Announce Details of Uniform Working Groups

Story Number: NNS130111-05Release Date: 1/11/2013 12:42:00 PM
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From U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va, (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CPF) distributed a message to commanders and commanding officers Jan. 11 that announces the agendas of two uniform working groups.

The working groups are reviewing the requirements and flame resistant qualities of fleet organizational clothing and subsequently the suitability of working uniforms worn at sea. They were formed following a recent impromptu test by the Navy clothing textile research facility that showed the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type I is not flame resistant and will burn when subjected to flame.

USFF Commander Adm. Bill Gortney said the working group that will review all organizational clothing worn by Sailors on ships, submarines, and in expeditionary units is designed to inform the second working group, which will ultimately determine the requirements for at-sea working uniforms.

The Navy removed the requirement for all hands to wear flame resistant uniforms at sea in 1996.

"The organizational clothing working group has been tasked with providing fact-based information and determining whether to limit flame resistant organizational clothing to Sailors who work in engineering departments, flight decks, and other high risk areas; or to expand fire resistant organizational clothing to all Sailors afloat," said Gortney. "Those findings are necessary before any recommendations can be made about at-sea working uniforms."

The primary consideration for both working groups is Sailor safety, and the results will provide the answers needed to maintain operational readiness and safety requirements.

"We intend to use these working groups to inform a deliberative review process. We will determine the level of protection our Sailors need, given the missions and tasks we expect them to execute in their respective work environments," said Gortney.

Both working groups will be comprised of members of the USFF and CPF staffs along with members of the Naval Safety Center, systems commands, and various operational commands.

While the groups are not working on a specific timeline, Gortney said he hopes to have the organizational working group's findings in a matter of weeks.

The Navy currently requires Sailors who stand watch in engine room or machinery spaces to wear fire retardant coveralls, with the sleeves rolled down, and when they're performing maintenance in machinery spaces where steam is circulating in the piping systems or fuel fired machinery is in operation. Individual Navy type commanders also provide organizational clothing, with added protection, to Sailors working on the flight deck or as part of damage control teams.

For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/.

Cmdr. Michael Meredith, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), conducts a uniform inspection.
121220-N-XQ375-009 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 20, 2012) Cmdr. Michael Meredith, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), conducts a uniform inspection of the operations intelligence division. Jason Dunham is deployed with the John C. Stennis Strike Group to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Deven B. King/Released)
December 26, 2012
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