The Secretary of the Navy announced March 26 that Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Bridge is the winner of the fiscal year 2008 SECNAV Environmental Quality Award in the small ship category. Bridge is one of MSC’s four fast combat support ships that replenish Navy ships at sea with fuel, ammunition, food and other cargo.
The 754 ft ship, which has a crew of 170 civil service mariners and currently operates out of San Diego, was cited for the crew’s work in preventing pollution, ensuring readiness in responding to environmental issues, conserving resources and complying with environmental regulations. Bridge advanced to the Secretary of the Navy competition after it was named as one of the Chief of Naval Operations quality small ship award winners in February.
While the ship voluntarily met standards stricter than required by the Navy, each mariner received special training in environmental management, used environmentally friendly chemicals and conducted monthly spill drills. In two years, Bridge, under the command of civil service master Capt. Jeffrey Siepert, transferred 182.7 million gallons of fuel without a significant mishap.
“Chief Mate Giudice is the leader of this effort,” said Siepert. “He came up with all of the ideas. He developed all of our environmental program elements, executed them and monitors them for our continued success.”
Chief Engineer Brian Muir worked to optimize boiler operations to reduce the fuel consumption by 1,000 gallons per day. Muir’s initiative resulted in a reduction of carbon emissions from boiler operations by more than 4,000 tons per year, equivalent to taking more than 565 cars off the road each year. In addition, Chief Officer Thomas Giudice and other key members of the shipboard management team were responsible for management of the Bridge’s successful solid waste disposal and recycling programs.
The Secretary of the Navy environmental awards recognizes Navy and Marine Corps individuals, teams, ships, and installations for exceptional environmental stewardship.
The award will be presented on May 28 at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., at a ceremony immediately following the Chief of Naval Operations environmental awards ceremony.