BY LT. CMDR. JARED SWEETSER, OPERATIONS OFFICER , NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER JACKSONVILLE
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Jacksonville enters a new realm of supply support with the arrival of the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida.
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USS Independence (LCS 2) arrives Naval Air Station Pensacola on a suitably haze grey morning. - Photo by Lt. Kevin Mutai, LCSRON ONE Mission Liaison Officer
USS Independence is the tri-hull variant of the littoral combat ship (LCS) and will be conducting an extensive Mine Countermeasure Mission Module (MCM MM) Initial Operation Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in the coming months off the shores of Pensacola and Panama City.
The MCM MM IOT&E is a major milestone in the LCS program, and NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville is proactively engaged to provide pierside and deployment support for emergent logistics requirements. Designed to be a minimally manned operation, the LCS shipboard supply department has to rely heavily on both distance and pierside support. The LCS Logistics Support Team San Diego provides requisitioning, financial, and administrative support, while NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville Detachment (Det) Pensacola will provide for needs in the immediate area of operation. Due to the infrastructure difference between a Naval Air Station and a Naval Station, innovative solutions have been and continue to be created by NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville Det. Pensacola to bridge gaps for the unique support needs of a ship.
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Sailors in queue for training at NAS Pensacola volunteered to form the working party loading stores on to USS Independence (LCS 2). – photo By Ensign Emily Wilcox, Naval Air Station Pensacola Public Affairs
A primary function of NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville Det. Pensacola is to ensure high priority parts make it to the USS Independence as quickly as possible. Casualty Reports are airlifted via helicopter, a 2 1/2 hour trip from Pensacola and when in port, parts and mail are delivered by the NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville Det. Pensacola team on-site. "Whether it is last tactical mile logistics support, assisting with ship's periodic inventories, Depot Level Repairable retrograde processing to ATAC node NAS Pensacola, or picking up items from out of town, the entire FLC Jacksonville Det. Pensacola team stands at the ready to ensure mission success," reports Lt. Scott Vanarsdel, NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville deployment support officer.
Supporting the USS Independence deployment provides first-hand exposure to the LCS Logistics Concept of Support. Through this exposure, NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville can use lessons learned to better prepare for the arrival of the Freedom class variant LCSs, scheduled to be homeported at Naval Station Mayport beginning in 2016.