Leaders Discuss Logistics Modernization at FISC Yokosuka

13 January 2011

From H. Sam Samuelson, U.S. Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Yokosuka Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) - The Vice Commander of Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and the Deputy Commander of Commander Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers (COMFISCS) teamed up to talk logistics modernization at Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FISC) Yokosuka, Japan through Jan. 13th. "We at Navy Supply have essentially reached two horizons,"

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) - The Vice Commander of Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and the Deputy Commander of Commander Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers (COMFISCS) teamed up to talk logistics modernization at Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FISC) Yokosuka, Japan through Jan. 13th.

"We at Navy Supply have essentially reached two horizons," said Vice Commander, NAVSUP John Goodhart Goodhart in a cultural nod to his presence in Japan. "The sun is setting on many of the ideas and systems we've relied on in Navy Supply for decades; but it is rising in terms of modern opportunities, initiatives and processes that will ensure we successfully navigate our future through a challenging landscape of fiscal uncertainty.

"Right now, our leadership in Washington is scrutinizing funding for the military 'tooth to tail,'" Goodhart said. "I think we can anticipate those cuts to be one-third 'tooth' – force structure – and two-thirds 'tail.' 'Tail' translates to infrastructure. And Navy Supply is infrastructure."

Goodhart's spotlight on the Navy's fiscal picture helped underscore NAVSUP's current focus and strategic priorities.

"Delivering basic business is 'Job 1," he said. "That's the message we want to send to our fleet and shore customers: our commitment to delivering quality products and services, to upgrade our systems and advance policies that help us continue quality logistics management and services while achieving the necessary efficiencies."

One initiative adopted by FISC Yokosuka – and of interest to NAVSUP and COMFISCS leadership – is the recent establishment of a headquarters logistics cell, to bring down port costs.

"When we hear from the customers in the fleet, we hear them loud and clear: port costs are too high," said COMFISCS Deputy Commander Bill Bickert. "We're excited about what FISC Yokosuka is doing to explore regionalizing husbanding services in the 7th Feet region and performing analyses of the costs."

FISC Yokosuka's dedicated logistics cell was established to provide both market and cost analysis and make fair and reasonable determinations to help rein in costs.

"It's a brilliant concept and one we intend to develop and roll out to our other FISCs," Bickert said.

Goodhart added that Navy Supply had already taken other steps to implement more efficient logistics across the board. For example, Navy Supply is deep into the second phase of adopting Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, to modernize Navy Supply chain management using commercial best business practices.

ERP is based on commercially successful, German-engineered, all-in-one total business management software solution.

"Using ERP, we have and continue to replace multiple, disparate systems, some almost half-a-century old, with 21st century software used by the top Fortune 50 companies," Goodhart said. "We're finally bidding farewell to costly, antiquated legacy systems and welcoming next generation business software."

Both Goodhart and Bickert discussed near-future Navy fleet modernization that will continue to impact all FISCs.

"The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) represents what we think will be a seismic sea change in how we support the fleet altogether," Bickert said. "Have you seen an LCS? They're almost the size of a frigate. But, where frigates had compliments of about 75 supply staff, only five will report aboard each LCS crew."

Currently the Navy operates two LCS's in its inventory, both sharing three rotating crews. Eventually, about 50 LCS's will compliment the Navy, comprising about 20 percent of the fleet. Each with a bare bones supply staff.

"You can see we're going to need to build a playbook that ensures we can quarterback the deployment of an LCS from its homeport to the supply support structure from its homeport to wherever it deploys.

Re-configuring logistics planning for LCS doesn't stop with the LCS, Bickert said.

"We'll be exploring the same kind of choreography with the next generation guided missile destroyers (DDG 1000) and carriers (CVX). The bottom line is, for these new platforms, we – Navy Supply or FISCs – will be their 'supply staff' providing services ashore."

The solutions to these near-future challenges, according to Goodhart and Bickert, lie with the full adoption of ERP and commitment to efficiency and affordability.

"Focus on efficiency and affordability as key among five priorities aligned with Chief of Naval Operations' (CNO) priorities to build the future force, maintain war-fighting readiness, and develop and support Sailors, civilian employees and their families," Goodhart concluded.

Bickert agreed and said FISC Yokosuka is on the leading edge of innovation to support tomorrow's fleet. "I've been a customer of FISC Yokosuka before," said Bickert, who served on three ships in the 7th Fleet during his career. "FISC Yokosuka has always been an innovator. That remains especially true today as, quite frankly, your servicing an area roughly a third the area of the globe."

Goodhart said FISC Yokosuka's achievements are heralded across the international dateline.

"The good news of what you're doing out here does make its way to the East Coast [of the U.S.]," Goodhart said, referring to both NAVSUP headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Washington, D.C. "What you do is truly 'non-fiction.' It's the real thing and – I think I speak for all the leadership at both NAVSUP and COMFISCS – has helped FISC Yokosuka establish a stellar reputation for service to the fleet."

FISC Yokosuka is one of seven supply centers under COMFISCS and is the Western Pacific region's largest Navy logistics command. The FISC Yokosuka enterprise is comprised of more than 20 detachments, fuel terminals and sites from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam; from Misawa, Japan to Sydney, Australia.

COMFISCS is headquartered in San Diego. It is a component of NAVSUP, headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and part of NAVSUP's worldwide logistics network of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel providing combat capability through logistics.

For more news from U.S. Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Yokosuka, visit www.navy.mil/local/fiscyokosuka/.

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