By NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella Public Affairs
Senior leaders, contracting experts, and ship repair engineers representing several of the U.S. 6th Fleet’s logistics support agencies hosted a Ship Repair Industry Day event aboard USNS Carson City (T EPF 7), while at the Athenian port of Piraeus, Greece, Nov. 19-21, 2019.
The hosting agencies were NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Sigonella, Military Sealift Command, and ForwardDeployed Regional Maintenance Center (FDRMC). Guest attendees included representatives of 19 European commercial ship repair vendors.
“In recent years, 6th Fleet has been increasing the tempo of its operations throughout the Mediterranean as part of our national defense’s strategic effort toward greater dynamic force employment,” said Capt. Frank Okata, commander, Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa and Task Force 63. “On behalf of 6th Fleet, the Navy’s logistics support agencies organized this Industry Day to grow our ship repair industry base in the region, so we can continue to ensure our fleet’s ships and supporting vessels are ready at all times.”
The event began with briefings led by subject matter experts from the hosting agencies during which industry vendors learned each agencies’ contracting regulations and solicitations processes.
“To ensure we have a stable industrial base that can properly repair and maintain our ships, we have to first train the commercial ship repair vendors about how to do business with the U.S. government, specifically about our Navy’s contracting rules and regulations and the technical specifications of our forward-deployed ships that require repair and maintenance,” said Capt. Jerry King, NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s chief of contracts.
Okata added that the briefings also helped the vendors better understand the scope of U.S. Navy operations in the region.
Cmdr. Luis Socias, officer in charge, FDRMC Rota, said that one of the central reasons for holding the Industry Day was to enable dialogue between the hosting agencies and company representatives that would lead to a stronger ship repair customer base for the Navy.
“Our goal here today was to communicate with local contractors that with our Navy’s increased presence in the region, we will need their labor and expertise in order to maintain our ships operating here,” Socias said. “Our event was successful in that many of the vendor representatives asked questions and received immediate answers about how best they can submit competitive packages solicitations.”
Hosting the event aboard Carson City also gave vendor representatives a unique opportunity to gain firsthand familiarity with areas of the ship where repairs are needed for the vessel’s upcoming maintenance period.
Dylan Coffman, Carson City’s principle port engineer, led vendor representatives during a walk-through of the areas where repair work was needed.
“For the ship check walk-through of Carson City, transparency was important so that all vendors have the same information about the needed repair work,” Coffman said. “This information will aid them as they bid for the associated work items within the maintenance package.”
King added that he was pleased so many vendors invested time and effort in attending the Industry Day event, and he expects that the tide has turned toward re-building the Navy’s ship repair customer base in the Mediterranean.
“The Navy’s industry base for ship repair in the Mediterranean has degraded over the years,” said King. “This Industry Day event and the ship check walk-through of Carson City has already succeeded in raising awareness in the ship repair commercial industry.”