NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support Rethinking the Interim Supply Support Program

BY KELLY LUSTER Office of Corporate Communications, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support

As NAVSUP continues its reform efforts aimed at improving business processes and enabling increased lethality and readiness across the fleet, enterprise initiatives are underway and showing positive results. According to Stephanie Enck, Littoral Department head, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS), one of the processes they are examining is the interim supply support (ISS) process. The command launched several pilot programs aimed at providing proofs of concept demonstrating how NAVSUP WSS can gain efficiencies by facilitating the ISS process. Under current policy, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) are responsible for providing ISS to the maritime side of the fleet. A partnership with NAVSUP WSS, NAVSEA, and NAVWAR identified six programs under the proof of concept.

To understand the ISS process, one must understand the difference between initial outfitting supply support and ISS. Initial outfitting supply support refers to providing the initial range and depth of materiel required to operate and maintain a system or equipment. ISS materiel supports the program from initial operational capability (fleet introduction), to materiel support date (MSD) (full supply system support). ISS materiel is provided by the hardware systems command, usually following normal military standard requisitioning and issue procedures, and is free issue to the fleet until MSD. Historically, NAVSUP WSS does not receive all the data experienced during ISS, which can create sustainment challenges post MSD. If NAVSUP WSS performs the ISS, we will have the data to make combined procurements that should reduce the interim period, provide economies of scale procurements, and eliminate residual assets.

Fortunately, for Enck and her team, there is already a successful model in place from which to draw best practices and they need not look any further than Philadelphia and the NAVSUP WSS Aviation Directorate. Thirty years ago NAVAIR, via a memorandum of agreement with NAVSUP WSS, established policies and procedures assigning NAVSUP WSS responsibility for providing ISS.

“They had 30 years to show everyone what ‘right’ looks like,” said Enck. “Through trial, error, and time, the aviation directorate laid the foundation for a successful program. We believe we will successfully demonstrate why NAVSUP WSS is the right organization to facilitate the ISS program and help create an efficiency for the Navy on the maritime side.” According to Enck, not only will transitioning maritime ISS to NAVSUP WSS create an efficiency from which the ripple effects will be felt across the Navy, but ultimately, it will enable NAVSUP WSS to improve customer service to the end customer—the warfighter.

Enck said, as the end-to-end supply chain manager, we are greatly invested in the ISS process and anything they can do to shorten the time a customer has to wait for parts is a win. For example, Enck said something as simple as scrutinizing data and failure rates can lead to eliminating or reducing administrative gaps and lead times for parts. The goal is to ensure not only the right parts are on the shelves, but the proper depth and breadth of parts, including both the retail and wholesale, to achieve the required operational availability for the system.

“We are seeing some of the early fruits of our labor through preliminary results of the pilot programs we’ve undertaken,” said Brian Mackalonis, program analyst with Continuous Process Improvement, NAVSUP WSS. “To get reliable data, the pilots would ideally draw information over a greater period of time. But we don’t have that kind of time.” According to Mackalonis, early results seem promising, but only time and data will demonstrate why NAVSUP WSS is best suited to take over the ISS process in the maritime arena.

Before culling data from various programs, the team had to determine the appropriate programs to demonstrate the command’s ability to successfully facilitate the ISS program. “We had to identify programs with some historical data from which to draw,” said Tymari Noll, Torpedo Interim Supply Support lead. “We were fortunate there are programs with significant historical data and are going through changes or modifications.” Specifically, Noll’s team is working on a lightweight torpedo used for antisubmarine warfare. According to Noll, her program has decades of data in a previous configuration where most of the system has not changed. Additionally, the team has undertaken pilots in a number of programs.

As the Navy’s only program support inventory control point, or PSICP, NAVSUP WSS ensures synergy in the supply chain. Supplying the Navy is a daunting task, but one NAVSUP WSS embraces throughout the organization.

Mrs. Lynn Kohl, vice commander, NAVSUP WSS, emphasized the command’s vital role ensuring our Sailors have the supplies they need, when they need them, where they need them.

“PSICP is about managing the entire life cycle of a weapon system from end to end,” said Kohl. As a NAVSUP field activity, NAVSUP WSS is the U.S. Navy’s supply chain manager providing worldwide support to the aviation, surface ship, and submarine communities. NAVSUP WSS provides Navy, Marine Corps, Joint and allied forces with products and services that deliver combat capability through logistics.

“As supply chain experts, NAVSUP WSS teams provide persistent Navy insight and oversight. We are integral in assisting with program manager interfacing, interim support, configuration management, program-driven requirements, repairables management, and providing engineering assistance to design the support to optimize a responsive, costeffective supply chain,” said Kohl. “I am confident in the pilot programs to show what we already know—NAVSUP WSS can manage interim supplies for the Navy creating an efficiency that will contribute to overall Navy readiness.”