Transformation: a reserve perspective

Transformation: a reserve perspective

Sean F. Crean

In August 2002, a group of senior Reserve supply officers, led by RADM Steve Morgan, SC, USNR, met in Seattle, Wash., to discuss conducting a zero-based review of NAVSUP claimancy Reserve units. Unlike reviews of the past, the focus of this team was to develop criteria for evaluating the mobilization requirement for particular units. In addition it looked at potential new Reserve support missions as a result of advancements in logistics. Previous Reserve manpower reviews had focused on whether or not assigned billets were adequately manned and usually did not evaluate whether or not the requirement for the mission had become superseded or obsolete.

The criteria established by the group for a “mobilization matrix” yielded eight weighted assessments. These included whether a unit would be immediately mobilized upon presidential activation of the Reserves; the probability of recall, in any form, should presidential activation not be authorized; the unit’s direct support of waterfront or other logistical operations; the deployable nature of the unit, identification of the unit as one which provided a capability not inherent at the gaining command, enhancement of a command’s combat capability, special or unique training requirements or providing a skill that could be exported to support other commands within NAVSUP.

The Reserve supply transformation process involved looking at the same fundamental areas of function, structure and customer alignment that the Naval Supply Systems Command was undergoing.

A key functional support area that Reservists have been providing since the end of World War II was in the area of procurement. Billets that called for contracting officers, purchase agents, and contract administrators augmented all areas of the NAVSUP claimancy and accounted for well over 10 percent of the supply Reserve force. While there is little debate that Reservists working in these capacities provided sound, added value to their respective gaining commands through peacetime contributory support, the advent of technology, government credit cards, and the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) demonstrated that procurement as a Reserve wartime mission failed the mobilization litmus test with few exceptions.

One procurement mission however, of four new mission areas identified by the Seattle group, was the development of a 12-member Contingency Contracting Team. This team, which has far less manning than the over 150 procurement positions claimancywide, would bear the responsibility for meeting the expeditionary missions that would require field contracting support. While it would be trained in expeditionary matters, it would respond to contingency contracting requirements established by headquarters.

Customer alignment was a major area of concern as it was also a key tenant of the Commander, Naval Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC) transformation initiative. Meeting the needs of the customer, the gaining command, is paramount and units such as those that support the Naval Inventory Control Point identified new mobilization mission areas such as Crisis Action Center (CAC) management. This brought about structural realignment enhancing operational capabilities while simultaneously resulting in reducing Reserve manpower requirements; some by as much as 50 percent.

Transformation of the Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers (FISC) units will result in reducing overall management by merging some units, increasing mobilization capability by relocating some units to cities where the likelihood of finding greater supply rating professionals to fill critical billets could occur, and aligning training platforms for OCONUS FISCs with CONUS FISCs through the establishment of a lead Reserve Liaison Office in San Diego; directly complementing the establishment of Commander FISCS (COMFISCS). A recent statistic identified by the ongoing Naval Reserve Force Transformation Initiative (NRFTI) revealed that nearly 44 percent of enlisted billets and 24 percent of officer billets (Navy Reserve wide) were not drilling to meet the mobilization needs of their gaining command. A major focus of the FISC transformation is correcting this deficiency by relocating units to areas that enable better manning of required billets.

In addition to the aforementioned establishment of the Contingency Contracting Team, transformation of the NAVSUP Reserve program will enable the establishment of three other mobilization mission areas: Naval Operational Logistics Support Center (NOLSC), Naval Logistics Response Unit, and Mobile Advanced Traceability and Control (ATAC) Teams.

The NOLSC program will establish key senior leadership Reserve positions to provide customer service support to the combatant command forces, provide support to the Naval Ammunition Logistics Center (NALC) and align the Navy Petroleum Office (NAVPET) and Naval Transportation Support Center (NAVTRANS) Reserve units under the NOLSC.

Two other new mission areas include the Naval Logistics Response (NLR) Unit, which will serve as a Navywide logistics planning trouble shooter team representing NAVSUP and the whole supply system to support senior decision-makers in Washington, D.C., and the Operation Iraqi Freedom field tested Mobile Advance Traceability And Control (ATAC) team used to improve repairable carcass recovery and management.

Implementation of the NAVSUP Reserve Transformation effort, while yielding an overhead reduction of more than 12 percent and establishing four new mission requirements, will truly enable the NAVSUP Reserve Program to be Ready, Resourceful, Responsive!

CAPT Sean F. Crean is Commanding Officer of NAVICP Mechanicsburg Team One and, as a recalled Reservist, is serving as the Headquarters Reserve Liaison Officer (RLO).

COPYRIGHT 2003 U.S. Department of the Navy, Supply Systems Command

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group