Small Team, Huge Mission … Naval Submarine Support Command Pearl Harbor

     During morning quarters, the Supply Officer announced that a visiting submarine is enroute from San Diego, and the Logistics Request (LOGREQ) is on the message boards.


The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) moors pierside at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam as she returns from a deployment to the western Pacific region.  (Photo by MC2 Steven Khor)

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) moors pierside at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam as she returns from a deployment to the western Pacific region. (Photo by MC2 Steven Khor)


     This notification is all it takes to set in motion all actions necessary to ensure the visiting submarine gets everything it needs during its stay in Pearl Harbor.  The staff Logistics Specialist (LS) arranges for shore phones to be connected, vehicles to be drawn from the pool and assigns duty cell phones.  The duty LS also reviews the Priority Material Office (PMO) hotlist to ensure delivery of high priority material and the Culinary Specialist division will order, receive and deliver an “Alpha” pack, which consists of a three-day re-supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and dairy products such as milk and hard pack ice cream.

     Submariners love their hard-pack ice cream!  While this may be a full day’s work for some, it is a very small part of what the dedicated men and women of Naval Submarine Support Command (NSSC) Pearl Harbor do each day.

NSSC Pearl Harbor’s Mission

     NSSC Pearl Harbor serves as a consolidated support unit for Submarine Squadrons (SUBRON) 1 and 7, and for 18 homeported Virginia-class and Los Angeles-class attack submarines in the conduct of their responsibilities by providing submarine unique administrative, medical, legal, operational, maintenance and logistics support under a single command.  The command provides inter-deployment training cycle efficiency through a single point of contact for all external organizations interacting with Pearl Harbor-assigned squadrons and submarines.  From this core mission, NSSC Pearl Harbor developed the fitting motto, “On Every Team.”

Training and Readiness

     As the Supply Intermediate Supervisor in Command (ISIC), the training and readiness team comprised of a Supply Officer, Assistant Supply Officer, two Chief Logistics Specialists and two Chief Culinary Specialists is responsible for SUBRON 1 and 7 for the training, mentorship, and assessment of 18 Supply officers, 108 Culinary Specialists, and 57 Logistics Specialists.  This training requires 1,300 man-hours of sea time, on average each month, and conducted through a myriad of evolutions including …

* Supply Technical Assist Visits (STAV) … A comprehensive assessment of the overall operations and health of the submarine supply department, normally conducted at sea, using the Type Commander Supply Management Inspection Checklist.

* Supply Department Assessments (SDA) … A two-day pier-side assessment of Supply department operations usually done at the request of the submarine.

* Pre-Deployment Certifications Conducted 45 days prior to deployment to ensure the pre-deployment checklist is completed on time, and that critical material, sufficient consumables and provisions are onboard for extended deployments and cognizant ship personnel are familiar with deployment support procedures.

* Continuous Monitoring Program (CMP) … Targeted monitors which are conducted monthly on all in-port units and visiting units.

Financial Management

     Retired SKCM(SW/AW) Louie Comia is responsible for all management aspects of a $60 million operating budget for 22 business units.  This includes the development of future year budget requirements, allocations of quarterly financial grants to include Repair of Other Vessels (ROV), Command and Staff, small craft, and Operating Target (OPTAR) funds, and monthly reconciliations with the Defense Finance Accounting Services (DFAS).

Customer Support Operations, Submarine Support Attachment (SUBSAT)

     A fixture of the Pearl Harbor waterfront for more than 30 years, retired SKCM(SS) Lee Hueske supervises the SUBSAT division of NSSC.

     As the Single Point Of Entry (SPOE) for the submarine Pacific Fleet, and tasked with direct customer support for all assigned and visiting units, the role of the SUBSAT is multifaceted.  SKCM Hueske and the three civilian members of his team process in excess of 50,000 requisitions and 2,000 status files valued at $93 million annually, while striving to save the submarine force funding through aggressive use of free issue programs.  As the sole provider of Government Purchase Credit Card (GPCC) services for the waterfront two GPCC agents, order, pay for and deliver about 1,900 non-standard procurements worth $1.5 million annually.

     To ensure that Pacific Fleet submarines can meet the challenges of forward-deployed operations, SUBSAT functions as a Material Processing Center (MPC) processing on average 2,500 unique receipts and shipments of Issue Priority Group II/III material.  Bottom line … If a submarine has operated in the Pacific theater, NSSC Pearl Harbor SUBSAT has played a vital role in supporting the unit.

Stores Division

     While the Stores Division spends a majority of their time each week preparing for and conducting small boat transfers to deliver critical repair parts to submarines at sea, it is just a small part of what they do.

     LS2(SS) Michael Traczynski leads a dynamic team, which willingly accepts any challenge and aggressively pursues “best value” logistic support options while orchestrating day-to-day waterfront supply chain operations.  This ranges from tasks as simple as arranging ships vehicles or cell phones to the much more complex task of providing technical assistance for Depot Level Repairable (DLR) administration and cannibalization requests.

     One example of this philosophy was demonstrated when NSSC Pearl Harbor was tasked with providing logistics support for Guided Missile Submarine (SSGN) crew exchanges, an event normally conducted in Guam.  While working to identify breaks in the supply chain, the division determined that a lack of adequate on-base housing existed and rapidly outfitted crew living barges to offset the $40,000 bill to house the crew on the local economy.  If a submarine is in Pearl Harbor and has a logistic support issue, NSSC Stores Division is who you call.

Food Service

     Working closely with NAVSUP Fleet Logistic Center (FLC) Pearl Harbor Customer Service Representatives, and utilizing Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) prime vendor contracts, CS1 Jordan Michalowicz and CS3 Key ensure on-time provisions support to include submission of food orders, receipt and delivery for all submarines transiting thru Pearl Harbor.  Normally conducted on small boat transfers, these provisions loads may be as small as two pallets, or as large as eight.  During fiscal year 2012, the division coordinated the delivery of 111,000 lbs of provisions, in most cases utilizing the proven submarine delivery method of hand-over-hand.

     Additionally, as part of the provision support responsibility, NSSC was instrumental in the outfitting and support of Open Ocean Transfer Vessel Malama, used exclusively for Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBN) open ocean small boat transfer events.  NSSC procured all necessary equipment to support frozen and chilled provision storage, as well as handling equipment to support crane operations.  Malama use accounted for 30 percent of Food Service Divisions provisions movements throughout 2012.

     NSSC Pearl Harbor Sailors are a capable and resourceful group.  They represent the best talent the submarine force has to offer, and are determined to provide impeccable customer service to all United States or foreign submarines passing through Pearl Harbor.

     We truly are … On every team!

By Lt. Cmdr. Paul Demeyer, SC, USN, Supply Officer, Naval Submarine Support Command Pearl Harbor