Embracing the Dog Days of Summer at the Schoolhouse

BY LT. CMDR. ADAM HAMILTON, SC, USN
NAVY SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL

drone NSCSAh, it’s summertime in beautiful Newport, the City by the Sea. The perfect opportunity to visit the many beaches of Narragansett Bay and enjoy breezy days by the cool Atlantic Ocean. Time to break out some surf’n’turf and sit poolside, passing the days soaking up sun while being engulfed by the aroma of the grill’s offerings. Ample time to dust off the golf clubs and lower the handicap on one of the many topnotch golf courses that New England has to offer. Yes, the lull of summertime has arrived, and with it, copious amounts of downtime for the staff at the Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS). Wait – not so fast! While the NSCS team certainly finds time to pursue and enjoy personal and recreational activities, the summer season has brought a flurry of activity to the schoolhouse. From a robust range of training courses to a Change of Command, the dog days of summer have yielded a high operations tempo (OPTEMPO) at the cradle of the Corps. Despite the hectic pace of the summer schedule, the staff at NSCS has embraced the challenge. According to NSCS Executive Officer Cmdr. Trent Kalp, “the battle rhythm of NSCS fluctuates between busy and super busy. This summer we just so happen to have a confluence of several events happening around the same time i.e. 2nd Battalion’s graduation, Basic  Qualification Course (BQC) – Naval Reserves (NR), Supply Officer Department Head Course (SODHC), Department Head Leadership Course (DHLC), the Senior Supply Officer Department Head Course (SR SODHC), the International Officer Supply Course (IOSCO), Advanced Management Program (AMP), Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Transportation Training, Reserve Supply Management Advanced Refresher Training (RESMART), Joint Aviation Supply Maintenance Material Management (JASMMM), Change of Command and the typical summer outflow and influx of staff members in addition to the typical daily routine of providing our students with the personal and professional foundations for success.”

Throughout the summer, over 100 junior officers representing three BQC battalions have been on deck. Each class has experienced a different phase of BQC; thus, the schoolhouse has seen the full gamut of BQC events this summer. From indoctrinations, to orders readings, to a graduation, the BQC has kept the entire NSCS team busy during the summer season. As NSCS’ Afloat Training Director, Lt. Will Morrison explains, “the pace so far this summer has been grueling, but our focus is squarely on sustainability of Supply operations afloat from a manpower perspective. In that, we have a responsibility to the warfighter to produce a well-trained and flexible cadre of junior Supply officers.”

The summer months have given no rest for the SODHC and DHLC team, as two of each class has convened. SODHC and DHLC Instructor Lt. Cmdr. Michael Valle asserts that “though the summer is generally a time for families and fun, we here at NSCS remain dedicated to ensuring the Fleet receives the best-trained Supply Corps personnel to continue supporting multiple operations across the globe. Grooming the next generation of Supply Corps professionals is why I returned to NSCS. We’ve tailored the curriculum to arm prospective SUPPOs with everything necessary to have a successful tour and continue the ever-changing mission.” The SR SODHC also convened over the summer, which presented an opportunity for many guest speakers to interact with the future large-deck Supply Officers. The influx of distinguished visitors has kept the staff busy, but the benefit of bringing in knowledgeable and experienced leaders has been invaluable.

The BQC-NR had three convenes throughout the summer, with each class in a different phase of the course. According to the NSCS Reserve Training Department Head Cmdr. Dave Davis, “the Reserve programs are year-round, but especially busy during the summer. Most of our Reservists civilian employers seem to encourage time off during summer months requiring us to double down on classes. At one point in July, we had three different classes going at the same time; but my team is ready for the challenge.”

Other courses taking place throughout the summer at the schoolhouse include Introduction to Expeditionary Logistics, HAZMAT Transportation, Force Level Relational Supply, RESMART, JASMMM, IOSCO, AMP, and various Mobile Training Teams. Although the summer schedule is packed with courses, the NSCS team has certainly stepped up to the challenge!

Perhaps the the most significant event that occurred this summer was a Change of Command ceremony. In mid-July, Capt. Doug Noble relieved Capt. Kristen Fabry as NSCS’ commanding officer. Several weeks later, Cmdr. Ed Pidgeon relieved Cmdr. Kalp as executive officer. Nevertheless, the event was successful, and the Change of Command fit seamlessly into the schoolhouse’s busy summer schedule.

Yes, this summer has been extremely busy for NSCS, but also very rewarding. While every staff member is afforded the opportunity to enjoy some summer downtime – whether it’s a road trip with their family, golf, or enjoying the New England area – the OPTEMPO at NSCS has kept us all busy. But that’s okay…we’re embracing the challenge!

July/August 2016