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News | Aug. 7, 2017

DLA Distribution Norfolk’s Pier Operations Team assists Navy

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs DLA Distribution Public Affairs

The diversity of DLA Distribution Norfolk, Virginia operations allows for a great team of personnel with specialized skills, customer focus and a passion for achieving excellence working throughout the organization. One of these specialized groups is the Pier Operations Team. The team is responsible for providing loading and offloading services from Navy ships. Using a mobile crane with a 75-ton capacity, DLA Distribution Norfolk crane operators, riggers, blockers and bracers are consistently providing safe, timely and responsive support to a variety of Navy and Marine Corps units.   

On July 7, the DLA Distribution Norfolk Pier Operations Team assisted the Norfolk Air Mobility Command Air Terminal with an urgent requirement to fly a 21-ton sonar dome via a C5 cargo aircraft in support of a Navy guided missile destroyer currently deployed to Japan. However, the sonar dome was not sufficiently braced for safe air travel and needed to be lifted in order to accomplish the additional work. 

The lift, requiring a crane, needed to be done on a short timeline in order to make the scheduled flight of the C5. The Air Mobility team made the call, requesting assistance from the DLA Distribution Norfolk Pier Operations Team. The team immediately relocated their mobile crane and slings to the air terminal.  Working quickly and safely, the Pier Operations Team completed the necessary rigging and lifted the sonar dome in order for additional bracing material to be put in place.  This allowed the sonar dome to be loaded onboard the C5 with the proper fit and without any shifting during transport. 

The team's ability to quickly respond to the emergent situation resulted in an immediate cost savings of $75,000, prevented a 15-day flight delay and reduced delays to the overseas shipyard's maintenance schedule.  

"The customer focus and superior skills displayed by the Pier Operations Team always results in amazing support to the ships, and safety and responsiveness are always given top priority. The unique capability they add to the DLA Distribution toolbox is an invaluable asset,” said DLA Distribution Norfolk commander, Navy Capt. Andy Matthews. “It is a testament to their resilience and pride in service that ensures that they are always prepared to "save the day" under unusual circumstances like this one."