Navy Supply Corps in the Aviation and Maritime Industrial Environment

By Capt. Anthony Yanero, Director of Supply Chain Management, NAVSUP

The Navy’s industrial support capability and capacity has a significant impact on our end-to-end supply chain and subsequently on fleet readiness. In response to recent demand, the Supply Corps has become increasingly engaged in both the maritime and aviation industrial environment.

This move highlights the capability gaps created as a result of the 2005 base realignment and closure (BRAC) decision which moved many, but not all, of the supply chain functions in our industrial environment from the Navy to Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). To understand the impacts of those gaps, and how we can leverage our supply chain going forward, it is important to understand where the Supply Corps is currently positioned within the industrial environment.

Aviation Industrial Support

Commander, Fleet Readiness Center (COMFRC) in Patuxent River, Maryland, supervises the production, capability, and capacity of three primary aviation depots and ten intermediate level aviation repair locations. The fleet readiness centers (FRCs) are a significant source of component repair for NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS) Philadelphia and conversely NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia provides significant component support to the FRC for planned maintenance interval (PMI) work and component repair.

There is a Supply Corps commander, officer in charge, for DLA Aviation at each major FRC (San Diego, Cherry Point, Jacksonville) who supports component and PMI repair. Provided repair capacity and capability are available, the advantages of aviation organic repair, as compared to commercial repair, are: lower cost and no contract lead time.

As part of the overall reform effort to improve performance at FRC depots, COMFRC N41 is working with NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia and NAVSUP Headquarters to increase supply officer presence at the three primary aviation depots. Additionally, as part of the aviation performance to plan effort, the team is also working with the leadership of Naval Air Station Lemoore to improve manning in support of the PMI line working to return aircraft to the fleet faster.

While there is still a significant amount of work and coordination needed, NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia leaned forward in January 2019 and sent a supply officer to assist FRC-Southwest (SW) with kitting and component related work. In coordination with the NAVSUP WSS industrial support department, the FRC-SW commanding officer/executive officer (CO/XO) and COMFRC N41 developed notional tasks to improve FRC production, including project planning and forecasting; repairable carcass management; materiel sourcing and disposition; supply process overview; and bill of materiel (BOM) accuracy. Once specific tasks and manning for the FRC-SW pilot are fully developed and implemented, the next step is to implement the pilot at the remaining depot-level FRCs.

Maritime Industrial Support

Owned and funded by the fleet and operated by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the four public shipyards are primarily responsible for nuclear carrier/submarine maintenance and repair. The seven regional maintenance centers (RMCs) and associated detachments conduct intermediate maintenance on surface ships, oversee private yard ship availability, and engage in limited submarine and carrier maintenance work. Private shipyards are commercially owned and mostly engage in non-nuclear ship maintenance and repair and new construction.

In anticipation of the increased demand for NAVSUP WSS maritime industrial support, NAVSUP WSS Mechanicsburg is increasing its maritime industrial support department from 20 civilians and one military to approximately 32 civilians and two military, and will more closely resemble the existing industrial support structure at NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia.

Within public shipyards, NAVSEA recently reconstituted Code 500 supply departments in both Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. NAVSEA is also on track to stand up Code 500 in both Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in 2019. The Code 500 in each shipyard will focus on internal shipyard supply processes not taken over by DLA during BRAC 2005. General duties include oversight of all materiel functions and improved supply support, which will ultimately lead to on-time delivery of ships and submarines.

A strategic memorandum of agreement (MOA) between NAVSEA, NAVSUP and DLA, and a manpower MOA between NAVSEA and NAVSUP were established to guide the standup and development of the shipyard Code 500. In support of the NAVSEA standup of Code 500, NAVSUP assigned five supply personnel per shipyard (one O-6, one O-5, two O-3s, and one E-8) to both Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

NAVSEA RMCs are located globally and perform planning for over 100 ship availabilities and execute over 50 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) availabilities per year, totaling over $2.7 billion in contracting. The primary workload drivers are private sector contract management and oversight; fleet technical and materiel support assists; surface ship intermediate level maintenance; program management and operations; and forward-deployed maintenance and execution. There are only three Supply Corps officers who work contract-related issues in support of these significant tasks and they are located at Southwest RMC, Mid-Atlantic RMC, and Commander, Naval RMC.

Heavily integrated in the support of RMC maritime industrial efforts are the NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Support Center (FLC) Code 500 departments. Prior to BRAC 2005, FLCs were also highly integrated in public shipyards in a way that most closely resembles the current integration of the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Code 500 supply team with Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Japan. While FLC capabilities vary depending on region, seven of eight FLC Code 500 departments provide significant repair and modernization supply chain support for over 225 vessels across the United States and overseas. NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor is the only FLC that does not currently have a Code 500 department.

This overview of Supply Corps engagement in the Navy’s industrial environment gives us a foundation to better understand our industrial landscape and better leverage our existing supply chain. We must continue to seek opportunities that will improve long term readiness and support to the fleet.

Spring 2019