Story by SA Travis Decker on 06/11/2019The crew of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) conducted an ammunition on-load at Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J in preparation for an upcoming deployment, June 6 to 8.
Over the course of two and half days, Bataan Sailors worked with civilian contractors to load and store more than a million pounds of ammunition and ordnance in the ship's weapons magazines.
"An ammo on-load is vitally important," said Capt. Greg Leland, Bataan's commanding officer. "It gives this ship the striking and combat power that the combatant commanders and the warfighters need. We'll be providing both the Marines and, if necessary, the Army and special forces the necessary ammunition for them to do their missions."
Weapons Department along with support from Air and Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Departments used fork lifts, cranes, pallet jacks, as well as good old fashioned muscle to receive and stow the ordnance.
"We're all motivated," said Aviation Ordnance man 3rd Class Treavon Lovell. "It's like, let's get this done, and let's get this work going. Our Chiefs are down here, OHO [Ordnance Handling Officer] is down here, and even the Gun Boss is even down here. If Gun Boss is pushing something, you better be motivated."
The two and half days to coordinate this kind of evolution requires Bataan's Sailors to focus on every detail in order to prevent injury or damage equipment. The significant amount of teamwork along with hard work was paramount in order to safely and smoothly transfer, stage and store all the ordnance from the pier to flight deck, hanger bay and upper vehicle stowage to properly secure in the magazine.
"I appreciate all the hard work," said Leland, "We worked hard during the shipyard cycle and got Big 5' fixed and trained Sailors along the way and it showed over the period of this on load."