One of the many successes of RIMPAC 2014 was the use of the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which simplifies the exchange of logistics support, supplies, and services between the United States and other NATO forces.
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Service members assigned to the Multinational Logistics Support Element (MLSE) pose for a photo during RIMPAC 2014. The MLSE, whose members were from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Korea, Norway, Singapore and the U.S, had a primary role in the usage of ACSA during the RIMPAC exercise. (Photo by MC2 Corey Jones)
The U.S. Navy operates in an increasingly global environment, and joint operations – such as those that occur during RIMPAC - are at the forefront of our warfighting efforts. The importance of collaborative logistic processes within our own military and alongside Coalition forces has never been emphasized more as America strives to ensure peak warfighter readiness around the world. In working with our partners, we need to examine where our joint logistics shortfalls exist and understand where we can reduce logistics burdens to allow our fleet commanders increased interoperability, enhanced operational readiness and cost effective joint support.
The ACSA is designed to facilitate reciprocal logistics support between all involved parties. It is used during port calls, operations, combined exercises, training, deployments, and other cooperative efforts; and it is used primarily for base operations support, billeting, communication, calibration, medical services, port services, maintenance, storage, training, clothing, transportation, ammunition, food and water, petroleum, oil, lubricants, spare parts and components not covered by Foreign Military Sales.
ACSA agreements were highlighted during this year’s RIMPAC exercise, a multi-national maritime training event that took place in and around the Hawaiian Islands from June 26 to August 1. Twenty-two nations, 49 surface ships, 6 submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated.
While ACSA has existed for decades, it has rarely been exercised during RIMPAC. Although the framework had always existed, the fine details of executing the agreement were missing.
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The Chinese hospital ship PEACE ARK and the Chinese supply ship QIANDAOHU are moored side-by-side at Kilo Pier 8, about 100 yards from NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor’s HQ building. Across the pier, but not visible in the photo, was the American hospital ship, the USS Mercy. In the background is the ARIZONA Memorial. Over the July 4 weekend, the PEACE ARK welcomed visitors, enabling many NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor employees to view everything from operating rooms to acupuncture needles. (Photo by Jim Murray)
To correct this shortcoming, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor developed a simple and workable process to support ACSA transactions. NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Joyce Jo and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt LSCM (SW/SCW/ FMF) David Cease spearheaded a Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) event that focused on the ACSA process. Participants in the CPI event included PACFLT N43, Commander 3rd
Fleet N4, Commander Navy Region Hawaii, Commander Middle Pacific N4, Defense Distribution Depot Pearl Harbor, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor, Personnel Support Detachment, and a handful of other commands. The CPI event, which was sponsored by CAPT Mark Wheeler (Commanding Officer NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor) and CAPT JD Cassani (Deputy PACFLT N4), focused on developing a flow chart outlining each step in the ACSA transaction process, the stakeholders that own each step, and a mechanism for executing the process if one didn’t exist.
Within the scope of the RIMPAC 2014 exercise, FLC Pearl Harbor expedited nine Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreements in support of four countries, totalling assets worth $15,633.85. If Fuel Exchange Agreements between nations are taken into account, a total of $4,591,623.46 in material and services was facilitated by NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor.
RIMPAC 2014 provided an ideal opportunity to pilot the newly developed implementation process and to evaluate success through data collection and lessons-learned discussions. Although the process was initially not perfect, the challenges experienced during RIMPAC 2014 fine-tuned the process. By the time the last RIMPAC vessel had set sail, everyone was in agreement that NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor had made great progress in formalizing a mechanism to execute those agreements that strengthen our relationships with our coalition partners.
By Lt. James D. Roberts, SC, USN; Supply Officer, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific