NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Invites Reservists to Pacific Northwest

BY BRIAN J. DAVIS, OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER PUGET SOUND

U.S. Navy Reserve PO2 Barbara Bailey and PO2 Shampria Burroughs (in back) conduct an inventory at NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Aviation Supply Department at NAS Whidbey Island during a recent drill weekend. –photo by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Allen.

U.S. Navy Reserve PO2 Barbara Bailey and PO2 Shampria Burroughs (in back) conduct an inventory at NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Aviation Supply Department at NAS Whidbey Island during a recent drill weekend. –photo by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Allen.

Members of the U.S. Navy Reserve are currently in demand at NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Puget Sound in Bremerton, Washington.

In 2015, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound stood up a new department to oversee the command’s Reserve support. The Reserve Operations Department, headed by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Allen, works to incorporate Reserve personnel into NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound’s scope of operations.

Navy Reserve personnel serve with NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound in two ways. The command is supported by a traditional Reserve unit based in the local area that conducts weekend drills and annual training.

Reservists train to be qualified for work in a variety of jobs so they can quickly transition into the NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound workforce if their unit is activated.

“We have an assigned Reserve unit that makes up the ‘core group,’” said Allen. “They participate in weekend drills where they  train to be able to work in different areas in order to support the command during manning shortfalls caused by wartime deployments and operational needs.”

NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound also offers training opportunities for Reservists from around the country who are not currently assigned to a gaining command. Reserve Sailors are welcome and encouraged to request orders to come and serve in the Pacific Northwest.

“We have a program to reach out to unaffiliated Reservists looking for a place to conduct their two–week annual training,” said Allen.

The Puget Sound region is home to several installations which represent the majority of the Navy’s warfare communities including aviation, surface ships, and submarines. With NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound activities on every base, Reserve Sailors can learn new skills and serve alongside their active duty counterparts in a number of different career fields.

“Reservists from midwestern or landlocked states that don’t normally have a big Navy presence can come out here and directly support the fleet,” said Allen. “It’s what they signed up for … they can see and work around aircraft, surface ships, or submarines and get some big Navy experience. They can see the cool stuff up close, and learn something completely new.”

Reservists serving with NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound, regardless of their rate/NOS, can participate in delivering aviation and marine fuel, running a warehouse, handling hazardous materials (HAZMAT), household goods movement, and administrative support.

According to Allen, the unaffiliated Reserve program has been successful for two reasons. The NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Reserve Operations Department will take Sailors of any rank and any rate/NOS, with priority given to junior enlisted personnel. Jobs have been broken down into manageable tasks that can be mastered in a short time, with skills that are relevant and transferable. Since the Reserve Operations Department was established, integration of active duty and Reserve assets has become part of daily and long–range planning for the command.

“The Reservists that serve with NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound are an integral part of our team and they play important part in our role of mission support for the fleet,” said Capt. Tim Jett, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound commanding officer. “We encourage Reserve Sailors from around the country to come out and be a part of our team.”

Along with helping with the workload, Reservists can bring a different perspective to the command.

“We focus on the junior people,” said Allen. “Even though they may be a seaman or junior petty officer, Sailors serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve tend to be a little older and more mature. We also get the benefits of their civilian work experience.” Since the program’s inception, more than 75 unaffiliated Reservists have requested and received orders to conduct their annual training at NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound.

According to Allen, one of the command’s most successful and most popular efforts was to use Reservists to help with a shortfall of aviation ground support (NOS 100 series). Reservists from a number of different rates had an opportunity to work in an aviation “hot pit,” delivering fuel to F/A-18 Hornets on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island flight line. Working on the flight line as well as in a HAZMAT facility and an aviation warehouse, Reservists contributed a total 340 days of support for NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound aviation support operations.

Unaffiliated Reservists can request orders to NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound for their annual two-week training through the U.S. Navy Reserve website at http://www. navyreserve.navy.mil. Anyone seeking more information may contact NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Reserve Operations.

November/December 2016