The naval striking/task force is a unique weapon, combining great destructive power with mobility and flexibility. But powerful as this striking force may be, its inherent ability to stay at sea is limited by three major requirements: fuel, ammunition, and provisions. In order to extend the endurance of the striking force the Navy has developed the mobile logistic support concept. It is through this mobile logistic support system that the NEWPORT NEWS receives her supplies when deployed as part of the striking force.
The mobile logistic support forces are composed of three functional groups of ships: the underway replenishment group, the mobile support group, and the pipeline ships.
The underway replenishment group is made up of auxiliary ships such as oilers, refrigerated ships, general cargo ships, ammunition ships and fleet issue ships which are designed for and whose personnel are specifically trained for transfer-at-sea operations. It is from this group that the NEWPORT NEWS periodically receives her fresh and staple provisions, fuel, ammunition, general stores and technical stores to keep her operating at sea.
The mobile support group backs up the underway replenishment group and provides logistic services which can be furnished in a protected friendly harbor. These services are of a repair and salvage nature, and therefore are required only when adequate facilities are not available in established ports.
And finally, the pipeline ships, are those which are employed in replenishing both the underway replenishment group and the mobile support group. They shuttle from a major supply point on the mainland or from an advanced base to the general area in which the other two groups are operating. These three elements make up the mobile logistic support forces by which the Navy provides support to the striking forces, thereby extending their staying at sea capability, and their ability to control the seas.
With this external support secured the Supply Department is a staff organization and is responsible for ordering, storing, issuing, and accounting for all general stores, electronic, ordnance, aviation and machinery repair parts, provisions, clothing and ships store stock. These include about 55,000 separate items. Our objective is to keep on hand enough supplies to enable the ship to operate independently for at least 120 days. The Supply Department operates the crew's mess, ship's store, clothing store, soda fountain(geedunk), laundry, dry cleaning plant, tailor shop, barber shops, and many storerooms for the stowage of and issue of material necessary to keep the ship operating. It is responsible for preparation of the pay rolls and for paying the personnel, and payment of other bills for required services and supplies.
The Supply Department is divided into five
The Subsistence Division which is responsible for all food supplies as well as the preparation and service of food in the general mess.
The Sales and Service Division which is responsible for the operation of the ship's store and related sales and services activities and the ordering, storage and sale of products connected with these retail outlets.
Disbursing which maintains the pay accounts of all personnel aboard and takes care of the collection, procurement and disbursement of all public funds required by the ship.
The Stewardsmen who are responsible for the preparation and service of food in the various private messes aboard ship, as well as the maintenance and cleanliness of the officer's living accommodations.
These Supply Department functions are performed by five officers and approximately 220 enlisted men.