A Year in Review: NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella–Site Rota, Spain

By Lt. Christopher Gerber, Supply Operations Officer,
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella Site Rota

NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Sigonella Site Rota, Spain is a unique and dynamic site within the European area of responsibility (AOR). Site Rota had an incredible year of supporting the fleet while proudly representing the NAVSUP Enterprise in all warfare areas across multiple branches.

NAVSTA Rota Security escorts a NAVSUP caravan of AH-64 Apache Helicopters during a 2018 intermodal evolution.

 

Being the first stop in and out of theater, Site Rota supported 71 different port visits and operational tasking involving 37 different units; these units included five U.S. submarines, one carrier strike group, two marine expeditionary units, four U.S. Army combat aviation brigades (CABs), as well as multiple aviation squadrons and transient aircraft, all supported by NAVSUP Rota’s logistics support center (LSC). The LSC in Rota is unique as there is no husbanding agent within the port, so the LSC itself conducts what a typical husbanding agent would do for every port visit, resulting in over 7,000 man hours and 950 remedy transactions. The LSC in Rota received outstanding reviews for all ship surveys and evolutions in fiscal year 2018 (FY18).

NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Site Rota LSC also coordinates all efforts regarding the naval station intermodal evolutions. An intermodal is a unique evolution in which the U.S. Army CABs move their aircraft in and out of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) AOR via Site Rota. Traditionally, after a deployment, equipment is flown home on a C-5 through several transportation evolutions. Site Rota LSC partners with the Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group (TASMG), and the Military Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC) to offload equipment and aircraft from transiting U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships, establishing both an air and sea bridge.

Site Rota postal personnel offload mail from new conveyor belt purchased earlier this year.

 

Through a Joint effort involving the USAF 725th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS), Louis Burger Air Terminal Service and Air Cargo Facility, 101st CAB Infantry Division (ID), 3rd CAB ID, VMM-261 from Morón Air Base, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Spain, NAVSUP coordinated movement of 900 containers and 159 aircraft to and from theater, resulting in $60 million in transportation savings. The operations enable U.S. Army CABs to deploy to and from CENTCOM in a seamless and efficient manner.

Partnership is critical for making these evolutions and missions happen. Key players such as NAVSTA Rota, Base Naval de Rota (Spanish Navy), U.S. Air Force 725th AMS, Louis Burger Air Terminal Services, SDDC Italy Detachment, TASMG, MSC, and all associated CABs made these operations happen without complication.

Site Rota also maintains the largest fuel reserve in the AOR, another critical aspect of the installation itself. NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Site Rota issued 21,767,145 gallons of F-76 to 177 U.S. Navy, Spanish Navy (SPN), NATO, MSC, and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) ships. Fuels also issued 3,705,422 gallons of JP-5 to 47 USN and SPN ships and 21,849,803 gallons of JP-8 to 2,603 aircraft for FY18. Rota Fuels also has the region’s only Class B level fuel lab, testing the capabilities for support to all military units transiting to and from theater. The fuels mission is absolutely critical for the warfighting effort across the entire 5th and 6th Fleet AORs.

Rota’s first use of the Newland TC-33 conveyor for improved postal operations.

 

Site Rota Personal Property Office and Transportation Office also had a significant year in FY18. The personal property shipping office (PPSO) was instrumental in the redeployments of NMCB-1 and NMCB-11. Over 2,400 household goods shipments and over 1,000 privately owned vehicle (POV) shipments took place in FY18, supporting NAVSTA Rota, Moron Air Base, and other various geographically separated customers.

Transportation analyzed trucking tenders, identified errant billing, and instituted round trip trucking for all European mail routes, saving over $170,000 annually. Further, the traffic section worked with U.S. European Command (EUCOM) J4 to re-negotiate trucking tenders, expanding the list of available carriers, and prompting more competitive rates. By lowering trucking rates, Transportation Division slashed the European mail movement budget by an additional $275,000. Transportation also worked with the Customs and Border Clearance Agency (CBCA), to conduct 654 agricultural inspections in accordance with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards, precluding the entry of invasive species into the Customs Territory of the United States (CTUS). Finally, the transportation office worked with the Ocean Terminal to manifest and ship 49 bulk fuel containers containing 294,000 gallons of low-freeze JP-8 fuel from the port of Algeciras, Spain to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in support of CENTCOM Operations.

Another significant operation for NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Site Rota is the postal operation. Site Rota’s Postal Division processed and distributed 1.8 million pounds of mail for 32 tenant commands, four homeported forward deployed naval forces (FDNF) ships, and 71 deployed units to the 5th and 6th Fleet AORs in FY18.

Rota Post Office went through significant renovations and underwent a remodel to ensure they had the most up-to-date technology to better service the customer and decrease wait times. One of the command goals was to develop better ergonomic practices within the work-center by enhancing safety and making more efficient moves to transport mail. NAVSUP FLC Sigonella procured a Newland TC-33 conveyor this year to reduce heavy lifting of mail and parcels. Rota Post Office is implementing new “smart lockers” for customers to increase efficiency, and are also undergoing an expansion to conform with the growing base and tenant command populations.

Site Rota is expanding and operations only seem to pick up year after year. The strategic location and the forces that flow through Rota make it a very unique, challenging and advantageous location to conduct operations.

NAVSUP FLC Sigonella stands ready to fulfill logistics responsibilities and serves as a vital link to enable mission success.

–all photos by MC1 (SW) Brian Dietrick

Winter 2019