Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka, Japan teamed with the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) to meet local Japanese contractors during an Industry Day event held at the Yokosuka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI) May 15.
The meeting aided both U.S. Navy commands in determining the capabilities and capacities of current contractors in supporting a major ship modernization and upgrade effort, as well as provide potentially interested new contractors with information on how to become Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA)/Agreement for Boat Repair (ABR) certified.
This large-scale undertaking of ship repair work is part of the U.S. Navy’s destroyer modernization program, which will be underway in Yokosuka beginning in April 2014.
“There is a long standing relationship of providing excellent ship repair work here,” explained Cmdr. Mark Axinto, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka
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Cmdr. Mark Axinto (far right), NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Far East Contracting, speaks to a group of Yokosuka area contractors during an Industry Day event held at the Yokosuka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI) May 15.
Director of Far East Contracting, adding that based on many years of experience and quality workmanship, local contractors have assisted in providing mission capable ships back to the fleet.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, acting as the contracting officer, and SRF-JRMC as the naval supervising activity, will lead efforts in bringing four Yokosuka-based Arleigh Burke Class destroyers a comprehensive mid-life upgrade by 2018, ensuring the ships’ service life goals are met.
“We could not get our business done without the support of FLC Yokosuka,” said James Ogburn, SRF-JRMC business officer, adding that contractors conduct about 30 percent of the work performed by SRF-JRMC, which would be impossible without the aid of NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka executing contracts for that additional labor.
Strengthening ties with current industry partners and building relationships with new ones is a goal sought after by both U.S. Navy commands.
“We look forward to a continued expansion of a competitive business-base of responsible and capable contractors performing ship repairs at fair and reasonable prices to the Unites States government,” said Eddie Nelson, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Afloat Contracts Division.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for us to reach out to industry partners,” Ogburn said.
Many local companies received their invitation to attend the Industry Day event from the Yokosuka CCI. “Our industry base here in Yokosuka has to take advantage of working with Yokosuka base to expand business,” said Kudo Yukihisa, Information Planning Division Manager for the Yokosuka CCI, adding that in the past local companies did not know how to work with the various base commands and the natural language barrier impeded some business from being conducted.
Yokosuka-based companies are small and medium sized, which often times hasn’t allowed for English speaking staff, Yukihisa explained. “Our goal is to act as an intermediary to help and assist with the exchange of information between our local businesses and the U.S. Navy here in Yokosuka,” Yukihisa added.
At the end of the day, the message was very clear to local business. “The U.S. Navy looks forward to partnering with you,” Axinto said.
Story and Photo by Sky Laron, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Corporate Communications