Naval Submarine Support Center New London (NSSC), Conn., is unique from other support centers based upon the fact that the Supply Officer is dual hatted, as they serve as the Department Head for both the NSSC and the Naval Submarine Support Facility (NSSF).
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The NSSC New London Supply Department team.
NSSF is a world-class maintenance facility with the capability to perform all manner of ship repair from routine maintenance to dry docking. When NSSC Supply and NSSF supply merged in 2010, there were several changes. One of the most significant was that a support staff of nearly 40 supply personnel was trimmed to less than 20. With no reduction in operational tempo, a restructuring was needed to keep the new organization effective and efficient.
Drawing on his experiences as a CVN S6 Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Matt Ellis divided his resources into divisions that mimicked the work centers of an S6 Division. Two main divisions were formed, Readiness and Training. The Readiness Division is responsible for reviewing all Casualty Reporting messages reported by Groton units, and assessing courses of action to support requirements. Readiness Division is also responsible for ordering, expediting, and delivering more than $49 million in repair parts in support of NSSF requirements.
The Readiness Division has three subcomponents, Quality Coordinated Shipboard Allowance List, Material Management, and Credit Card. Material Management is more than the name implies. The personnel serving in this capacity ensure all Depot Level Repairables (DLR) for afloat units, as well as NSSF, are turned into the supply system and processed in Electronic Retrograde Management System (eRMS). They also process all Automated Shore Interface files (ASI), process all Quality Deficiency Reports (QDR) and assist with unit level Supply Discrepancy Reports (SDR).
The other core competency of NSSC is to train and monitor the waterfront units. This mission is accomplished by a small group of subject matter experts that have taken on the moniker of the Supply Waterfront Assistance Team (SWAT). They provide distance support to units at sea and monitor off-hull reports and other submissions to ensure they are completed in accordance with the guidance found in the NAVSUP P-485, NAVSUP P-486, and COMSUBLANT/COMSUBPACINST 4406.1A.
SWAT also provides training to in-port units, and monitors their performance via the Continuous Monitoring Program (CMP) and unit monitors conducted at random intervals. Another key element to their success is the service they provide in the form of a Supply Technical Assist Visit (STAV), a “free look” for the Supply Management Inspection (SMI). A STAV is typically conducted after the unit completes a self-assessment and four to six months prior to a scheduled SMI.
The NSSC Supply Team has always been resourceful at bridging the gap between supply system shortfalls and unit material requirements. During the past few years, with more Virginia class submarines becoming part of the operational Navy, the challenge has become more daunting. As a result, NSSC has renewed partnerships with Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Electric Boat Corporation, and Lockheed Martin to help with identifying and potentially filling hi-priority requirements for units. This resulted in the avoidance of hundreds of material cannibalizations and saved costly man-hours.
Cmdr. Greg Booth and his team at the NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Detachment Groton, provide another critical partner in the New London logistical support structure. His group of skilled professionals provides vital services such as provisions ordering; processing Government Commercial Purchase Card (GCPC) requirements; HAZMAT issue and reuse; mail; point of entry for submarine requisitions; delivering critical supplies at sea during Brief Stop for Personnel (BSP) evolutions; laundry services; and serve as the customer service representative for any issues with subsistence providers.
Lastly, but certainly not the least important, is the small detachment of personnel from Priority Material Office (PMO). The Groton detachment is composed of two petty officers that assist the Fleet in shipping hi-priority requisitions all over the globe. They also play a critical role in processing critical material transfer directives that fill Issue Priority Group One (IPG 1) requirements that cannot be filled by the Supply system.
NSSC New London is a unique organization that is different in function and mission from other NSSCs in the Fleet. The most striking difference is, since the merger in October 2010, the small group of 13 Logistics Specialists have been responsible for the flawless processing and management of 80 major submarine maintenance availabilities; 18 successful deployments; $49 million in ROV/ROVI funds; expedited 5,000 high-priority requisitions for the intermediate maintenance activity; 15,000 Not Operational Ready Supply (NORS) or Anticipated Not Operational Ready Supply (ANORS) requisitions for afloat units; monitored 3,500 CASREPS; 8,000 credit card purchases valued at more than $7 million; and 550 cannibalization actions.
The Sailors for NSSC New London, NAVSUP FLC Norfolk Detachment Groton, and Priority Material Office are the backbone of waterfront support, and without their collective teamwork, day-to-day operations would come to a quick stop. They are a perfect example of how a dedicated group can succeed with the adequate resources and leadership to direct their actions and sustain them into the future.
By Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Ellis, SC, USN; Supply Officer, Naval Submarine Support Center New London