Story by Kelly Luster on 02/01/2019JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA BOLLING, WASHINGTON, D.C.More than 100 key leaders from across the Navy maritime enterprise met at the NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support-hosted Maritime Sustainment Summit, Jan. 24, 2019, to discuss ways to better collaborate, coordinate and communicate. The top line goal of the summit was to maximize operational readiness of ships and submarines across the Navy.
NAVSUP WSS is the Navy's supply chain manager responsible for supplying the fleet with the parts needed to maintain weapons systems, contracting repair or purchasing parts, and managing transportation and distribution of material. The command employs a workforce of more than 2,500 military and civilians who process 500,000 annual demands from a $33 billion inventory in support of Navy, Marine Corps, Joint and Allied Forces customers worldwide.
During the inaugural summit, Ms. Lynn Kohl, Vice Commander, NAVSUP WSS, reiterated the command's commitment to partner with other organizations to ensure warfighter readiness. "We are committed to expanding partnerships with an overall goal of improving readiness of our maritime enterprise," said Kohl. "We know there are gaps and seams in some of the processes. We need to make sure we're improving our processes to provide exactly what our customer needs. By working together, we can resolve many of the current sustainment issues we are facing and ensure a readier and more lethal Navy."
Capt. Dave Carnal, Surface Operations Director, NAVSUP WSS, laid out the agenda for the summit identifying a six key sustainment areas that could be improved through forging partnerships with various organizations in attendance at the summit:
1. NAVSUP WSS improving industrial integration to better support NAVSEA
2. Increased strategic collaboration with NAVSEA and SPAWAR to support sustainment activities across the Navy enterprise by authorizing NAVSUP WSS to review Provisioning Technical Documentation (PTD) for Quality and accept or reject on behalf of the Navy before it enters the Technical Support Activity (TSA)
3. Expanding the NAVSUP WSS role in Interim Spares
4. NAVSEA and SPAWAR help identify key systems that would benefit from program industry engagement events and partner with NAVSUP WSS to engage industry partners
5. Continued partnership in reviewing allowance overrides and support establishment of a centralized independent readiness based sparing (RBS) organization
6. Partner with NAVSUP WSS to evaluate WSS engineering capability and provide the necessary engineering authority to answer acquisition related technical issues
Throughout the day-long event, presenters from various Systems Commands (SYSCOMS), Program Executive Offices, and fleet officers, discussed the NAVSUP WSS proposals as well as various other opportunities to improve overall naval readiness.
Kohl reemphasized the NAVSUP WSS role as the Navy's Program Support Inventory Control Point (PSICP). "PSICP is about managing the entire lifecycle of a weapon system from end-to-end," said Kohl. As a field activity of the Naval Supply Systems Command, NAVSUP WSS is the U.S. Navy's supply chain manager providing worldwide support to the aviation, surface ship, and submarine communities. NAVSUP WSS provides Navy, Marine Corps, joint and allied forces with products and services that deliver combat capability through logistics.
Scott Morrow, Deputy Director of Engineering and Product Support, discussed how his directorate at NAVSUP WSS is running pilot programs that are already contributing to Navy readiness through increased communication and collaboration. "Over the past year we've successfully piloted programs where my engineers, who have a great deal of technical background and knowledge, have been able to work solutions to lighten the workload of the ISEAs [in-service engineering activities]." According to Morrow, the pilot programs are designed as a proof of concept where his team triages specific types of questions before reaching out to the ISEA. In theory, when the ISEA receives the question with the triage packet, most of the work is done. The goal is providing case studies that provide confidence in the process and eventually lead to agreements among the organizations enabling NAVSUP WSS to be granted increased engineering authority.
"We've already had a great deal of success on the aviation side of the enterprise," said Morrow. "We process more than 8,000 requests for aviation engineering support annually." Morrow said operating under memoranda of agreement with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has enabled his team to answer more than 70 percent of the requests for engineering support which is a direct contributor to readiness.
Another success across the aviation enterprise that NAVSUP WSS hopes to emulate across the maritime enterprise is the management of interim spares.
Building confidence in the abilities of the NAVSUP WSS engineers and moving toward increased engineering authority just scratched the surface at the summit. Topics covered throughout the summit led to the emergence of roughly nine action items and working groups made up of partnerships forged between systems commands, program executive offices, and various other attendees. The increased communication and collaboration during the summit fostered shared understanding of challenges and charted a course to improve readiness of maritime assets across the Navy.