Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Mullen announced
that Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (TAO-194) won a 2006 Environmental Quality Small Ship award.
The 678-foot ship is currently operating out of Pearl Harbor and is crewed by 81 civil service mariners and a military detachment of 23 active-duty Navy Sailors. Ericsson was cited for its crew’s work in preventing pollution, ensuring readiness in responding to environmental issues, conserving resources and complying with environmental regulations.
While the ship voluntarily met standards stricter than those required by the Navy, it also ensured that each mariner received special training in environmental management, used environmentally friendly chemicals and conducted monthly spill drills. As a result, in two years, Ericsson transferred almost 82 million gallons of fuel in 353 separate fuelings at sea without a significant mishap.
“Though all the crew participated in bringing Ericsson up to high standards, [civil service] Cargo Mate Art Davis really made the program into what it is today,” said Capt. Robert T. Wiley, the ship’s civil service master.
The Chief of Naval Operations Environmental awards recognize ships, installations and individuals or teams for their environmental stewardship. As a result of this selection, Ericsson will compete in the Secretary of the Navy Environmental awards.
In his message, Mullen extended his personal congratulations and said the winners have demonstrated that the Navy has among the finest environmental programs in the world. The award will be presented at a ceremony in June in Washington.
Ericsson is one of 14 fleet replenishment oilers that provide fuel to Navy combat ships and jet fuel for aircraft aboard aircraft carriers.
Military Sealift Command operates
approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships
, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.