Supporting Submarine Logistics for Half the Globe

     During my time serving as the Supply Officer for Commander, Submarine Group (CSG) 7, I have witnessed a level of logistics support that is unparalleled in the fleet.

     While CSG7 is only one of two forward-deployed submarine groups in the Navy, the logistical support we provide is unique due to the large geographical area we cover … from the International Date Line to the Suez Canal.  Our mission is to maintain the warfighting readiness of our forward-deployed submarines and submarine tenders operating in the 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR).

Lt. Tyheem Sweat

Lt. Tyheem Sweat

 

     CSG7 seeks to maximize every submarine support opportunity to ensure the most successful deployment possible.

     Because of this vast area of coverage, our Supply Department provides submarines with extra backing whenever and wherever possible.  When submarines moor in foreign ports, a boat manager from our N4 department is there to support all aspects of the visit.  This assist is just one of many supplemental duties CSG7 delivers to deployed submarines.

     The CSG7 Supply team includes a Supply Officer, a leading Logistics Specialist, a leading Culinary Specialist, a junior Logistics Specialist, and a priority material officer representative.  Our Supply Department is dedicated to the submarine and tender crew quality of life, and to provide the best possible support for store loads, material shipping and tracking, and supply assistance.

     The best way to show how CSG7 supports our deploying submarines and acts as a liaison with all other logistical support agencies is to start from the beginning with our pre-deployment procedures and follow the process of logistics support from the top down.

Pre-Deployment … CSG7 holds a video teleconference (VTC) with the appropriate Naval Submarine Support Command/Facility (NSSC/F), the submarine’s parent squadron, submarine tender supply representatives, and Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SUBPAC), to ensure everyone is knowledgeable of deployed submarine support processes, and aligned in logistics support requirements.

     This VTC includes a review of Chapter 7 of CSG7’s Deployment Guide, which covers detailed logistics policy and procedures.  The VTC enables all parties involved in the deployment an opportunity to “meet” and finalize submarine updates to ensure a successful deployment.

     Logistics Request (LOGREQ) … CSG7 submits a LOGREQ on behalf of the submarine to make sure all requirements for services are met.  Since submarines have limited communications underway, CSG7 arranges all services for port visits, including transportation, lodging and hazardous material (HAZMAT) removal.

Provisions … Submarines submit provisions orders to CSG7, which are processed to the activity that will maintain that particular order.  One challenge with obtaining provisions in some countries, where a prime vendor is not located, is the weight conversions from pounds to kilos to ensure correct quantities are ordered.  All provisions orders must be submitted correctly to the husbanding services provider (HSP) the first time because submarines do no not have the ability to replenish at sea.

Movement of Materials … All high-priority material is shipped to a central, pre-determined location by the fleet that a submarine is operating within.  All 5th Fleet material is shipped to Bahrain, and all 7th Fleet material is shipped to Yokosuka, Japan.  These two locations are ideal hubs for theater support, and we have a priority material office in both locations to expedite the movement of material whenever and wherever it may be required.

ISIC Updates … Before and during deployment, CSG7 works with the submarine’s home squadron and immediate supervisor in charge (ISIC) to ensure smooth logistical support.  After the initial ISIC hand-off, bi-monthly updates are sent to the home ISIC supply organization to inform them of any issues that may have come up, and what items have been corrected.

Post-Deployment … All involved commands conduct a follow-up VTC to reflect on the mission and lessons learned that may be applied in future deployments.

     CSG7 is poised to provide maximum logistical support to all U.S. submarines deployed over half the world’s oceans.  Our Supply Department works diligently to coordinate and facilitate a full range of logistical services that ensure mission readiness and efficiency across the forward-deployed submarine force.

By Lt. Tyheem Sweat, SC, USN, Supply Officer, Commander, Task Force 74/54