Senior Supply Corps Leadership Training Symposium held

“Meeting the challenges of a new era”: Senior Supply Corps Leadership Training Symposium held

Jonathan Yuen

RADM Dan Stone, Chief of Supply Corps, welcomed Supply Corps flags and captains to the annual Supply Corps Leadership Training Symposium held at the National Convention Center in Leesburg, Va., on April 25 and 26, 2006.

More than 170 active duty and 20 Reserve Supply Corps officers, representing almost every Navy claimancy, as well as Office of Secretary of Defense, and the joint community, came together providing the Chief an opportunity to communicate face-to-face with his leadership team on current and emerging issues affecting the logistics community.

“Meeting The Challenges of a New Era” was selected as the theme of the symposium and it provided the platform for a wide range of briefings and presentations. Throughout all the sessions, the Chief encouraged an active and open dialogue, thus creating an interactive environment with various viewpoints and perspectives aired and discussed.

The Supply Corps Senior Leadership Advisory Council (SRLAC) coordinated the symposium agenda. CAPT Jonathan Yuen, as SRLAC Chairman, served as symposium master of ceremonies.

At the kick-off session, RADM Stone introduced the theme, stating that many of the briefings were going to tackle the challenges of a new era: planning and engaging in the joint environment, NAVSUP efforts in Distance Support, and our community’s efforts in support of the global war on terrorism. The Chief also noted that in addition to the technical challenges of providing premier logistics support in the 21st century operating environment, the second day of the symposium would be focused on preparing the supply community, officer and enlisted, to better meet the challenges of a new logistics environment.

What follows is a short overview of the symposium presentations and key discussion points. (Complete briefs from the symposium can be reviewed on Navy Knowledge Online [wwwa.nko.navy.mil] under the Supply Corps Community Homepage.)

RADM Al Thompson, Director, Supply, Ordnance, and Logistics Operations, on the CNO Staff presented the OPNAV perspective. He discussed resources, organizational construct changes, productivity enhancements, emerging joint logistics concepts and the implications of these topics for the Supply Corps community. He summarized this portion of the brief by indicating significant budget pressures will continue, so finding ways to reduce costs must become a “part of our daily routine.”

The Navy’s governance structures and processes are fundamentally changing so the Supply Corps must continue to engage as valued members of warfare enterprises. Successful implementations of productivity enhancement–ERP/RFID/Distance Support–are critical for the future of the Navy. RADM Thompson also discussed how essential joint education and experience are going to become as the Navy’s logistics system is becoming less of a “stand alone” and more of a joint and interdependent logistics capability.

RDML Martin Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Acquisition Management) provided an update on acquisition issues, and trends, including, Seaport- e, Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) goals, and field contracting and acquisition process reforms. He indicated acquisition reform is a never-ending process. He pointed out that although Navy contracting performance is good, the DoD contracting workforce is suffering from low numbers and decreasing skill level.

RDML Brown covered the current acquisition career path, discussed contingency contracting and contracting officer independent augmentations. He closed by saying that acquisition remains a core competency of the Supply Corps and there is room to grow in contingency contracting, combat commander staffs, and Defense agencies–if we seize the opportunities.

RDML Charlie Lilli, Commander, Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC), briefed the Defense Logistics Agency perspective. He reviewed DLA’s support to the Navy, DLA’s Business Systems Modernization currently under roll out, the impact of BRAC on wholesale logistics for DLA and the Agency’s role in retail and distance support. He concluded by restating the DLA Director’s assessment: “‘it’s a matter of trust’ …” it’s up to DLA to earn and maintain it through performance, agility, and best value!”

RADM Mark Harnitchek, Vice Director, Logistics Directorate for the Joint Staff addressed our work from a joint perspective. He spoke about the Joint Staff J4 transformation stemming from mandate analysis and stakeholder perspective, reporting that J4 transformation was in sync with DoD transformation initiatives.

In speaking about the need for joint logistics, RADM Harnitchek stated that the logistics imperatives of unity of effort, domainwide visibility and rapid and process response would deliver the effect of “freedom of action” for the joint task force commander.

He also provided an overview of lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina response, and near-term J4 focus areas to include equipping the Iraqi Security Force (ICF), the Mobility Capability Study, the Joint Pub 4.0 series (Logistics) rewrites and actions arising from the 2006 QDR. RADM Harnitchek addressed the Supply Corps Joint Officer Development plan and illustrated the growing need for more officers with familiarity and experience in the area of joint logistics.

RDML Ray Berube, Director, Logistics/Fleet Supply Officer, N41, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (FFC) provided the fleet perspective. He indicated the CFFC “intent is to ‘shape’ the combat commanders’ expectations of what FFC can deliver so that incoming requests for resources for the future are based on reality and not a wish list….”

Metrics are being developed to feed Total Force Manpower Management System (TFFMS), Defense Readiness Reporting System Navy (DRRS-N), and Global Force Management to better enable the Fleet to evaluate and manage the Operational Readiness Enterprise.

Initiatives discussed included creation of the Navy Munitions Command and the realignment of the Military Sealift Command to FFC. Ongoing Distance Support initiatives such as the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) storeroom and USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) Food Service prototypes were also outlined.

The briefing closed with updates on the Enterprise Fuel Allocation Process, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief concept of operations development, Fleet Services and a Fleet Individual Augmentation (IA) program, noting that “all Sailors are potential augmentees” and as such, we must all be in a ready state.

RADM Hank Tomlin, Commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG), introduced the new Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). The organization was created to man, train and equip Navy forces to operate in an expeditionary environment in order to provide a secure area for forces and logistics to flow ashore and to support naval and joint combat forces with ordnance disposal combat engineering, inland waterway operations and force protection.

NECC will use the distributed capability of assigned forces to extend the joint force Maritime Component Command domain awareness to near coast, inshore and inland waterways.

RADM Tomlin also presented the force structure and anticipated future capabilities of the NECC.

CAPT Jim Dolan, Director for Pacific Fleet Supply (COMPACFLT N41), provided the COMPACFLT theater support perspective. The briefing outlined the organization, logistics infrastructure overview, key strategic relationships and initiatives. CPF seeks to maintain an operational focus, recognizing and identifying “hot spots” requiring logistics combat capability in the Pacific theater.

The extremely comprehensive briefing covered a range of CPF initiatives and efforts, including CPF partnering with NAVSUP, NOLSC, and DLA to provide joint warfighter support; aligning logistics support to operational and concept plans, the global war on terrorism (GWOT), Master Warrant Officer Training (MWOT), and Maritime Homeland Defense (MHLD); and work to push support west. Working with NAVSUP and DLA, the command is developing solutions for strategic stock positioning.

CPF is assisting Pacific Command in developing theaterwide logistics requirements by working out solutions with execution partners Commander, Fleet Air, Western Pacific (CFWP)/Commander, Logistics Group, Western Pacific (CLWP) and evolving operational logistics to support warfighter’s requirements. At the same time COMPACFLT Logistics is continuing to innovate and improve processes to gain efficiencies in Distance Support.

CAPT Tom Traaen, Deputy Commander for Fleet Logistics Operations, NAVSUP, provided an update on the technology, ashore infrastructure, and challenges surrounding Distance Support (DS). He stressed that Distance Support requires transforming processes and systems … afloat and ashore; LCS is the immediate forcing function for DS but there are others; by expanding our focus beyond LCS we are benefiting the legacy fleet; and alignment of thinking, objectives and effort is key to success … engagement by the supply community is essential.

RDML Bill Kowba, Commander Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers, brought everyone up to speed on the Material Support Integration (MSI) initiative. He discussed the concept of MSI, provided a partnership update, and discussed the way ahead.

Partnerships with NAVSEA, Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Engineering Facilities Command, CFFC/PACFLT, and Commander Navy Installations Command have provided significant savings to date with more plans for the future. New partnerships are being developed with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and Military Sealift Command. By optimizing business and theater and global logistics MSI is leading the way to aligning shore logistics infrastructure and improving theater logistics readiness.

CAPT Ed Naranjo, Director, Supply Corps Personnel (OP), and his staff provided an update on the Supply Corps Community billet structure challenges, Joint Specialty Officer for Flag Update, Seaboard Revision, Diversity, and the IA program.

The OP team led a several-hour discussion on critical topics that are affecting the community. These issues and how we address them will effect how the community is managed in the future and will impact individual career planning. OP’s presentation is available, on NKO, and these topics will continually be discussed at future roadshows.

RADM Ryland Percy, Director of the DLA Joint Reserve Force (J9) clearly defined how the Naval Reserve community plans to meet the challenges of the future. He noted that the active/Reserve integration (ARI) creates a more integrated total force by aligning the Reserve component capabilities with the active component to enhance and support Sea Power 21.

RADM Percy spoke about changes for the Reserve community, the most significant change being the transition from a strategic Reserve force to an operational Reserve force. In response to this, the Navy is working to facilitate a continuum of service. At the same time, the Direct Commission Officer program is working toward ensuring individuals receive the proper training to qualify as a Supply Corps officers so they can be considered a viable mobilization resource.

The supply enlisted ratings alignment initiative was discussed by CNOCM Dan Warner. The initiative matches the future work requirement to the Navy of the future with an ultimate goal of Sailor interoperability. Sailors with broader skillsets will be able to support both legacy and future platforms. The changes align the supply enlisted community with Sea Power 21. It will ultimately provide two ratings, process improvements, training efficiencies, portable skills for our Sailors, singled up IT systems, and cost savings, and will support Sea Warrior and Distance Support.

Following a presentation of the Reserve vision, CAPT Jonathan Yuen defined the evolving supply domain. Key to understanding the future of the Supply Corps, CAPT Yuen pointed out that the supply community needs to be fully engaged with continued strong performance to support Sea Enterprise; that the Navy is changing at an accelerated pace, especially through the distance support initiatives and warfighter enterprises; and that the supply community must respond to the emergence of a new supply domain.

The Chief concluded by saying that this is a great time to be a Supply Corps officer. The health of the supply system remains solid and the supply community reputation is strong. With that, he said, come many opportunities and challenges. The concepts of distance support, joint qualification, supply domain, and warfigher enterprise are so intertwined and so rapidly becoming realities that we must ensure we focus our energies on continuing our proud tradition of efficiency within these concepts. We must align our thinking and objectives. The decisions we make today must be based on where we want the Supply Corps and the Navy to be tomorrow. He added that our strengths will serve us well as we help propel our Navy into the future.

By CAPT Jonathan Yuen, SC, USN, Deputy Commander for Corporate Operations, Naval Supply Systems Command, and CAPT Kathryn J. Smith, SC, USN (RC), Plans and Policy Department Director, DLA Joint Reserve Force

COPYRIGHT 2006 U.S. Department of the Navy, Supply Systems Command

COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group