SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) passed the Supply Management Certification (SMC) 1.1 assessment Jan. 26, with the highest recorded SMC 1.1 score of any ship in the Pacific Fleet - 95.73 percent.
This certification makes Boxer the first ship to ever qualify for certification without remediation, and comes just one week after passing Light Off Assessment. SMC is a comprehensive inspection administered by Afloat Training Group (ATG) - Pacific that evaluated Boxer's Supply department in general stores, food services, retail operations, hazardous material handling and postal operations.
"I cannot be more proud of the Boxer Supply Department for this achievement," said Capt. Benjamin J. Allbritton, Boxer's commanding officer. "The Supply leadership had a clear vision of success, and their Sailors completely bought into it. Success is very addictive, and I expect even great things from Supply Department in the future."
ATG inspectors visited Boxer Nov. 20 through Nov. 23 for a precursor Limited Training Team (LTT) visit. During the three day assessment they provided guidance to supply department leadership on what to prepare for during this week's inspection.
"It is very critical to pass SMC because supply is one of the most important support areas you need to make sure the mission of the ship is accomplished," said Master Chief Logistics Specialist Wenceslao Bassig, the lead assessor from ATG.
Due to Boxer's outstanding score in each mission area during the event, ATG may recommend to Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific that the command be certified based on the 1.1 assessment. If approved, the SMC 1.1 score will be the grade of record and Boxer will not be required to perform the 1.4 assessment.
"It tells us that what we see on the deck plates is a reflection of this great grade," said Bassig. "You have an outstanding crew aboard the ship and it's because of their strong leadership. It tells us that they care about their job and they're very sincere about their job."
Passing SMC 1.1 with a high score moves the crew one step toward larger, more complex goals planned well in advance by Boxer leadership. MOB-D is the next step in Boxer's journey to become mission ready. While the crew pushes forward to prepare the ship, Supply department is also focused on continued success with upcoming assessments.
"Only a few ships per year get the Captain Edward F. Ney Award for Food Service Excellence, and we're going for that," said Cmdr. Jayson Cramer, Boxer supply officer. "We put ourselves in the position to achieve this prestigious award and we're looking forward to the Ney competition."
Supply department is composed of more than 160 Sailors ranging from seaman recruit to commander, and they have planned, coordinated efforts and sacrificed time with family and friends to achieve this historic milestone for Boxer, and the significance is not lost on every Sailor involved.
"The morale has gone up tremendously in just that one day ever since we learned our results," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Tanequia Bernal. "It felt great that all of our hard work led to such positive results. Now that we've set such a high standard we have to maintain it."
The assessment may be complete, but Boxer isn't slowing down. Entering the basic phase of the training cycle, Boxer's operational tempo will begin to ramp up as all operational systems come back online and training opportunities increase.
"We're going to enjoy the weekend and then we're right back at it for Mobility Damage Control Warfare assessment next week," said Cramer. "A lot of Supply Sailors are in repair lockers and we're going to make that event successful too. It doesn't stop; we are integrated with all of the other departments on the ship to make this a fully functioning warship."
SMC scores are criteria for various awards including the Logistics Readiness Excellence Award, the Captain Edward F. Ney Award, and the Retail and Services Excellence Award and Boxer Sailors are contenders for all three added Cramer.
"The number one thought on my mind is that I'm extremely proud of each and every person in supply department," he said. "I'm kind of in awe of how professional and how good they really are. I had high expectations and they shattered it."
Boxer's crew is currently preparing for the remainder of READ-E 4 events to include crew certification, Dock Trials/Fast Cruise, Squadron/Group Staff Navigation Assessment and Contractor Sea Trials.
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