A Dynamic Transformation in 7th Fleet

BY Capt. Nicola M. Gathright, SC, USN, Director of Contracting, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka

NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka Contracting Department (C200) provides an array of contracting services throughout the Western Pacific. Our contracting team consists of 138 military, civilian and foreign national personnel distributed among seven divisions in sites located in Yokosuka, Sasebo, Atsugi, Okinawa, Singapore, Korea (Chinhae) and Manila. Our contracting team is organized into three divisions–Afloat, Ashore and Husbanding. These divisions focus on improving processes and procedures that serve the warfighter while also mitigating fraud, waste, and abuse in the dynamic Indo-Asia Pacific region.

Providing Ship Repair and Aircraft Maintenance Support

Operating in one of Navy’s most dynamic areas of responsibility (AORs), our Afloat Division is constantly challenged to meet our customers “required” or “need by” date. This division provides ship repair, maintenance and overhaul support to 7th Fleet ships homeported in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan. Support includes the Japan Regional Maintenance Center/U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility (JRMC-SRF), Army, Military Sealift Command and U.S. Navy activities operating in Korea. Additionally, the Afloat Division contracts for depot-level maintenance on six different airframes (F/A-18, C-130, H-60, H-53, H-1 and V-22) for the squadrons supported by Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) Western Pacific, including Carrier Air Wing 5 and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

Providing General and Specific Acquisition for Supplies and Services

Our ashore team provides contract support for a wide range of acquisitions for supplies and services, including, but not limited to, logistics services, conferences, shipboard generated industrial waste (SGIW), equipment repair, and other general supplies and services. Aside from responding to a variety of other high-priority requirements, this team executed more than 90 personal service contracts (to include physicians, dentists, physical therapists, radiologists etc.) for U.S. Naval hospitals in Yokosuka and Okinawa.

Providing Husbanding Support

Our husbanding team provides contracting support for USS and USNS port visits throughout this extensive area of operations. These services include water taxis, transportation, barges, and force protection. Additionally, the husbanding teams support the strategic sourcing initiative and contingency contracting program, utilizing two dedicated deployable contracting officers (DKOs). This support covers the awarding and administering of contracts for standard port visits, as well as contracts which facilitate major Joint and multi-lateral exercises (i.e. Pacific Partnership, Talisman Saber, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), Trigger Fish, etc.)

Providing husbanding support to USS Carl Vinson CSG during a port visit to Danang, Vietnam (March 2018). This historic port visit is the first carrier visit in Vietnam in over 45 years. Stern Barge shown with members of ship’s crew along with husbanding support provider (HSP).

Making a Difference–Supporting the Warfighters

Our team of contracting professionals is focused on partnering with our customers to keep 7th Fleet operationally ready. We are constantly seeking innovative ways to improve our processes, while maintaining the highest standard of government contracting. We remain committed to upholding the principles of professionalism, integrity and ethical practices.

Given the criticality of our customers’ missions, our goal is timely and responsive support, without compromising established standards designed to promote competition and ethical execution. Our team has been extremely busy in executing several major, high-profile contracting actions. Notable accomplishments this past year include:

  • Provided logistical contract support for a mission in Palau that resulted in recovering the remains of a World War II pilot.
  • Provided vital support following the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain collisions issuing letter contracts to secure critical contractor support for emergent environmental remediation and emergent repairs valuing $16.5 million. All of these were definitized on time, with a total value of $6.7 million, or 40.65 percent of the original contract value.
  • Awarded indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) multiple award contracts (MACs) for tank, bilge, and void repair covering all destroyers and cruisers homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. These contracts ($90 million value each) are unique as they represent the first time that FLC Yokosuka has ever utilized the MAC strategy for ship repair.
  • Provided contracting boots on ground support for the USS Sampson (DDG 102) port visit to Auckland, New Zealand. Sampson was the first U.S. Navy ship to visit New Zealand in 33 years.
  • Supported first carrier visit in Vietnam in over 45 years. Our contracting officers (KOs) provided boots on ground oversight and contracting authority during the entirety of the USS Carl Vinson (CNV 70), USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) port visit.

Transforming Contracting Execution/Landscape

We stand ready to support the warfighter. Our landscape is constantly changing due to geopolitical instability. This requires responsiveness and flexibility as conditions change and new threats arise. We meet this challenge by providing quick and responsive acquisition services in support of requirements.

  • One of the most exciting transformations we are undertaking is within our MACs for husbanding support to 7th Fleet. Major areas of improvement and transformation include:
  • Transitioned from single-award firm fixed price IDIQ contracts spread across four regions and only three contractors to a MAC acquisition strategy.
  • Between FY16 and FY17, completed the initial transition with the award of 32 MACs (covering four regions) to 18 contractors, with a total value at $411 million.
  • In May of 2018, awarded one suite of MACs; this new MAC suite provides coverage to all eight regions of 7th Fleet and increases the number of husbanding service provider (HSP) contractors from 18 to 23, increasing competition and further mitigating the risk of fraud, waste and abuse.

An Exciting Way Ahead

The key to success is ensuring that our people are knowledgeable, thinking strategically, and proactively collaborating with our customers.

People: We are committed to training our workforce. Implementing training programs designed to provide basic contracting knowledge to our military officers is one way we are making a difference.

Our newest member of the team, Lt. Dara Faraday, recently completed level I DAWIA certifications, and is directly involved in the awarding of husbanding task orders. “As a new member to the contracting force, I know being here at the tip of the spear allows me to support the warfighters at sea and help them to maintain their mission readiness. I’m extremely proud,” commented Lt. Faraday.

Lt. Broward Maryan, Site Singapore contracting officer, added “I love the opportunity to learn by doing, across a broad spectrum of contracting requirements, testing my knowledge and honing my skills while supporting the warfighter. I enjoy working closely with GS employees in a way that both improves my skill set and provides an excellent return to the government and our customers.”

Preparation: Among many other challenges, we anticipate an increased operational tempo in this AOR, which will undoubtedly result in an increased demand signal for contracting support. Consequently, our NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka C200 team remains dedicated to increasing the level of contracting support to our FDNF customers. Our KOs are engaged and ready for the challenge.

“Being in the center of the action is exciting and the successes we have had are truly inspiring…it’s rewarding and I recommend it to anyone who wants to stay operationally relevant while growing in the contracting field,” said Lt. Jesse Kiengsiri, Deployable KO, supporting Site Yokosuka husbanding division.

Partnership: We recognize that we are individually responsible for customer service and satisfaction, while maintaining public trust and protecting the taxpayers’ dollars. We apply lessons learned to our processes, and implement robust procedures to mitigate missteps.

These lessons include early engagement by all stakeholders, conducting site surveys, and having assets mobilized onsite in advance of port visits to austere locations. Our customer-focused contracting support in this dynamic AOR helps keep warfighters in our region operationally ready.

In summary, this is a very rewarding assignment. I am convinced that there is no greater job satisfaction than going home at night knowing that you have made a significant contribution in helping the world’s finest Navy accomplish its mission!

Summer 2018