NAVSUP’s How We Fight

By Lt. Cmdr. David Carroll and Lt. Cmdr. Vaughn Cooper

Figure 1

Title 10 of United States Code directs our Navy to man, train, and equip a fleet. Today, the fleet must “be ready to conduct prompt and sustained combat incident to operations at sea in order to protect America from attack and preserve our strategic influence in key regions of the world.” –CNO, Adm. Richardson

This tasking necessitates a global logistics pipeline capable of delivering sustained support to a Navy on continuous world-wide deployment. Navy logistics are inherently unique and tailored to support small unit, decentralized operations for numerous platforms and weapon systems. This often stands in contrast to ground logistics, which traditionally support large units of personnel and equipment operating from an installation or bridgehead.

NAVSUP–Products & Services

Figure 2

To generate and sustain fleet readiness, our Navy utilizes Readiness Kill Chain (RKC) doctrine to maximize the utility of its limited resources. NAVSUP is integrated throughout RKC’s end-to-end process, supporting overall readiness through the provision of supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and Joint warfighter.

NAVSUP executes its mission through a family of Echelon III commands, including eight globally-positioned Fleet Logistics Centers (FLCs), NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS), NAVSUP
Business System Center (NAVSUP BSC), and the Navy Exchange Command (NEXCOM) (Figure 1). Each of these commands enables fleet readiness with tailored supply solutions provided along their business lines. Figure 1 illustrates many of the products and services provided by NAVSUP commands, which collectively generate and sustain readiness throughout the O-FRP.

Atop Figure 2 is one of NAVSUP’s primary responsibilities–supporting the generation of readiness by sustaining supply wholeness for Navy weapon systems. Providing supply wholeness becomes NAVSUP’s responsibility after a weapon system is fielded and sustainment of its material support transfers to the Navy.

NAVSUP has three significant responsibilities once material support of a weapon system transfers to Navy. First, NAVSUP procures and repairs repairable components, or depot level repairables (DLRs). Second, NAVSUP teams with non-Navy supply partners to create holistic solutions for Navy’s total material requirements. Finally, NAVSUP prepositions material to optimize Navy’s end-to-end supply global chain.

NAVSUP–Financial Resources

Financial resources and their allocation provide a means to review NAVSUP’s material support to Navy weapon systems.

Figure 3 displays NAVSUP’s fiscal year (FY17) resources from two perspectives. The first perspective is from the overall Navy Working Capital Fund (NWCF) portfolio (Figure 3–top). Here, Navy’s supply management (SM) activity, or the authority used for the procurement of repair parts, is $7.6 billion and represents 27 percent of NWCF’s total authority. Almost all of the NWCF-SM authority is executed by NAVSUP, which characterizes NAVSUP as Navy’s supply management activity.

Figure 3


The second perspective is NAVSUP’s (Figure 3–bottom). In FY17, NAVSUP executed $8.4 billion to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and Joint warfighter. Of the $8.4 billion, the aforementioned $7.6 billion in NWCF authority represented 93 percent of NAVSUP’s total resourcing. This NWCF authority permits NAVSUP to contract with commercial and organic activities for the procurement and repair of Navy secondary repair parts a lead-time in advance.

Figure 3’s lower-middle pie chart reflects how NAVSUP distributed its $7.6 billion in NWCF authority. $5.8 billion, roughly three-fourths, was executed on NAVSUP’s primary material responsibility–the procurement and repair of repairable components. Another $781 million was executed on retail, or Budget Project (BP) Code 28, material. These resources represent NAVSUP’s procurement of Government Service Agency (GSA) and Defense Logistics
Agency (DLA) material for the purpose of prepositioning non-Navy managed material in the quantities and locations required by our Navy. The retail line of effort reflects NAVSUP cost in developing holistic solutions that optimize Navy’s end-to-end supply. Finally, the Operations wedge of $1.2 billion represents the cost of NAVSUP’s business to include labor, overhead, warehousing, transportation and distribution paid to DLA.

A financial perspective of the NAVSUP Enterprise shows NAVSUP’s most significant contribution to Navy’s Title 10 requirements and overall naval readiness is supply wholeness for Navy weapon systems. Supply wholeness is achieved through procurement and repair of NAVSUP-managed repairable components and the prepositioning of non-navy managed material. This combination of procurement, repair, and prepositioning of weapon system material optimizes Navy’s end-to-end global supply chain.

Supply Wholeness–One Component of Equipment Readiness

Supply wholeness, however, is only one component of equipment readiness (Figure 4). Overall equipment readiness relies on accurate system engineering, adequate maintenance planning and capacity, and supply wholeness. This important reality is often overlooked by those who develop an impression that a linear relationship exists between supply wholeness and equipment readiness.

Figure 4


Equipment readiness begins with good systems engineering. Good systems engineering yields accurate provisioning given specified readiness objectives and predicted failure rates. Maintenance plans and capacity are established using those readiness objectives and predictive failure rates, while supply wholeness can be initially built to the system’s designed provisioning. Together, the engineering, maintenance, and supply triad work to increase the utility of limited dollars to maximize equipment readiness of Navy’s weapon systems.


Our Navy stands ready to address adversaries who challenge our interests abroad. A keystone to this readiness remains the preservation of a global logistics pipeline, optimized to support decentralized operations in the maritime environment. NAVSUP continues to responsively provide tailored supply solutions that optimize Navy’s global logistics pipeline. Through procurement, repair, and prepositioning of Navy’s holistic material requirements, NAVSUP sustains supply wholeness–a critical component in overall equipment readiness. This is how NAVSUP fights!

Summer 2018