Spearheading Combined Lean Event of Camp Lemonnier Djibouti

Key stakeholders throughout Europe and Africa representing the East African Area of Responsibility (AOR) gathered for an off-site meeting at Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Sigonella to shape and standardize future Transportation Distribution processes in Camp Lemonnier Djibouti (CLDJ).

NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Black Belt and Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) deployment champion, Flint Sibayan, facilitated a two-part lean event that began in CLDJ last winter.  The goal of the CLDJ offsite was to determine the current state of transportation distribution processes flowing into and out of CLDJ.

The Black Belt and team of key leaders working at CLDJ mapped seven transportation distribution processes as they currently exist at CLDJ.  The second half of the lean event was completed by various subject matter experts (SME) representing stakeholders across the AOR, who simplified and standardized the processes, which would improve current service levels set to take effect in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015.

Focus areas included the clarification of roles and responsibilities of major logistics players, and identifying opportunities to improve the visibility and traceability of various types of cargo.  Deliverables included several “TO BE” processes, and supporting COAs for future consideration as well as an action plan to carry the process forward.

NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Commanding Officer, Capt. Robert Gantt, was the senior officer responsible for the entire Lean event.  “My intent in driving this effort was to assemble and leverage the collective knowledge of SMEs from my staff, those SMEs stationed in CLDJ, and other joint stakeholders from NAVAF N4, USARAF, ADDOC, DLA Europe, and AFRICOM to establish a CLDJ-centric baseline from which to build upon,” he explained.

Lt. Cmdr. Jackie German, Supply Officer at CLDJ, attended both portions of the lean event, and said that it was a team effort of the workforce stationed at CLDJ.  “The efforts and attention to detail of participating SMEs from AIROPS, the SSA, Port and Terminal, CJTF-HOA N4, PAE (BOS Contractors) and other work areas involved in painting the ‘AS IS’ processes provided the framework for the entire lean event,” Lt Cmdr. German said.  LCDR German also reported that, “The numerous opportunities to improve the quality and speed of service to the customers, as well as best business practices discovered and identified during the mapping phase, will enable me to take those lessons learned and requirements when we negotiate the performance of work statements to the BOS contract.”

NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Supply Management Director, Julie Webb, said, “Everyone was focused on breaking down barriers and providing the best support possible for those warfighters supporting operations in the Horn of Africa.”

James Jackson, AFRICOM J4 ADDOC Sustainment Branch, understands the intent of the short-term actions that need to be resolved in the next three to six months, and is thinking longer term.  “There are some installation transportation functions, relationships and responsibilities that need to be determined and locked in,” he explained.

Cmdr. Rick Buell, DLA Europe/Africa and prospective Deputy Site Director of NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Site Bahrain said, “The desired end-state as I see it, is to capture all requirements from a joint perspective with a mutual goal of not only developing a ‘single’ process that provides in-transit-visibility and delivery of material for the customers, but also to improve service levels among the various supply chains and sharing costs among users of the distribution system.”

Overall, the entire evolution was deemed an extremely valuable lean event.  Bong Cabling, the Executive Director of NAVSUP FLC Sigonella and team member during the event, was impressed with the team of experts and the superior knowledge and skill sets they brought to the table.  “There were a few of us assembled here that participated in the AFRICOM directed, NAVSUP FLC Sigonella-led CLDJ Value Stream Analysis (VSA) conducted back in 2008 that really set this whole process in motion,” Cabling explained.  “Back then, Camp Lemonnier was truly an expeditionary mission.  Growth has been unbelievable and the infrastructure now is significantly more robust.”

The desired end-state for all key stakeholders is to improve the quality of life and service levels at CLDJ.  A tremendous amount of work has been completed, and a significant amount more is still to be done.  However, the NAVSUP FLC and AFRICOM team remain motivated and look forward to great changes at Camp Lemonnier.

By Lt. Patrick Amundson, Corporate Communications Officer, NAVSUP FLC Sigonella