By Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Thornton, SC, USN, N72 HCA Policy & Oversight Directorate, Naval Supply Systems Command
Our National Defense Strategy continues to call for a forward presence that strengthens global partnerships capable of decisive action and deterrence. This forward presence relies, in part, on Naval Supply Systems Command’s (NAVSUP) ability to facilitate husbanding services for Navy, Military Sealift Command (MSC), Army, and Coast Guard vessels making port calls in non-U.S. supported ports.
To fulfill these services, NAVSUP has relied on contracting vehicles tailored to individual ports and major ship categories. Services include charter and hire, utilities, force protection, communications, transportation and other related services. Husbanding Service Provider (HSP) contracts represent approximately 1,600 task orders valued at $150 million annually. Over the past several years, NAVSUP has transformed both the HSP contracts and customer support model to meet customer demands and virtually eliminate program vulnerabilities.
MAC Acquisition Strategy
In early 2015, NAVSUP implemented an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ), firm fixed price (FFP) multiple award contract (MAC) acquisition strategy. This revised strategy focused on streamlining source selection, eliminating unpriced line items, and maximizing competition. Contracting offices at NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Norfolk, NAVSUP FLC Sigonella, and NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka were subsequently tasked with executing this new vehicle regionally. As the NAVSUP FLC Sigonella fleet husbanding supervisor, Gary Trimble led the award of the Navy’s first two regional HSP MACs in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility earning him the selection as acquisition professional of the year for both DoN and DoD in 2017. Gary and his team were cited for overcoming challenges of “establishing the necessary process for implementation while educating all participants on the new approach and adjusting the prevailing mindset of using one HSP provider.” Their efforts led to a “more structured approach to husbanding and incorporated the necessary oversight into the entire process from requirements development, to receipt and acceptance and final payment.” Since then, FLC contracting offices have worked tirelessly to complete HSP MAC global coverage (pictured).
Customer Engagement Standardization
Successful implementation of the HSP MAC is contingent on the effective use of Contracting Officer Representatives (COR) at the numbered fleets and afloat receipt inspectors to ensure ships received the port services they requested. Partnering with the fleet has been critical to the development and implementation of oversight and contractor performance guidance across the HSP program. As NAVSUP’s HSP Lead, Jamey Halke has seen the maturation first hand and believes, “husbanding service contracting today is more aligned with other contract processes than ever before.”
All of today’s husbanding service contracts and task orders are competed and awarded by professional contracting staffs ashore. The acquisitions are subject to a rigorous internal contract review process, and are included in periodic contracting office assessments. From the customer side, the fleet has established teams of CORs, who, with the assistance of ship supply department’s, provide the requisite oversight and guidance during port visit planning, execution, and closeout.
Additionally, the fleet and NAVSUP partner to provide HSP training to perspective supply officers at Navy Supply Corps School. This partnership continues during pre-deployment briefs and deployment via fleet CORs and FLCs.
Husbanding Support Portal
Navy contracting offices rely on a suite of IT systems: standard procurement system (SPS) for issuing contract actions. Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance and Property Transfer (iRAPT) system for invoice submission; and electronic document access (EDA) for electronic contracting action filing. In addition to these systems, HSP contracting officers and specialists utilize the HS portal (formerly LogSSR) for requirement development and data point entry. NAVSUP Business Systems Center (BSC) built the HS Portal to meet the demands of each HSP stakeholder and it has proven to be a vital oversight and data analysis tool.
Through this transformation, NAVSUP and our fleet partners have established global competitive marketplaces to ensure competitive pricing and rigorous oversight is present in the execution of Navy port visits. These contract vehicles have also expanded the number of contractors supporting our ships, increasing our capability to support port visits around the globe.