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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
33 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 the SWE with the established waterfront support organisations and report to the SWE Chief Readiness Officer (CRO), a two star line Admiral who sits on the SWE Board of Directors. The Classron is very much the equivalent to the SPO in the ADF construct, except that they are not involved with logistics support for new construction ships. They are dynamic entities that continue to evolve as they establish relationships with more established support organisations. Distance Support. It has been interesting to observe something of the world of distance support, especially as it relates to the USN's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The LCS is planned to have a ships company of only 40 personnel and must therefore implement innovative ways of operating and maintaining the ship if the crew are not to become overburdened. Having said this however, certain core tasks and functions will need to be completed just as in any other ship in the Navy. The supply manning of the LCS centres on one Storekeeper Chief (POSN) who acts as the Supply Officer. This billet is the single interface for all logistics support but is unable to spend much time on stock control functions due to watch standing requirements. There will be three culinary specialists (cooks) for subsistence afloat and no food service attendants. The single Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC), a highly qualified medical sailor, is responsible to the Supply Officer for medical support and maintaining the Authorised Minimum Medical Allowance List (AMMAL) inventory. It is proposed to move many other traditional supply functions ashore to an 'operationalised' support construct, the Logistics Support Team (LST). The LST will be the single point of contact for the Supply Officer at sea and will be manned according to the acquisition strategy for the ship -- currently projected to be 55 in the longer term. The LCS CONOPS identifies the processes necessary for supporting operations, maintenance, sustainment, administration and training onboard the LCS including the Mission Module and Aviation Detachment. It also examines which processes can be appropriately moved ashore to a Distance Support activity. Whilst some effort has gone into identifying and implementing Distance Support in the USN, there remain issues with identifying appropriate support organisations and funding streams to affect the necessary support. There are also ongoing technical issues associated with developing a ship based server which allows for compression and replication of applications to reduce bandwidth, operate in a restricted environment and in some cases, transfer the associated work ashore to the Distance Support infrastructure. CONCLUSION The experience of living and working in the US has been very interesting and enormously rewarding both professionally and personally. It has enabled me to gain a good insight into how a large and complex organisation such as the US Navy conducts both operational and through life logistics support at all levels of warfare. The activities and initiatives I have highlighted may not be directly related to my job as a Platform manager at the NAVICP but they will have a major impact on the way logistics support is delivered throughout the USN and are worthy of closer examination. I will certainly be maintaining a 'watching brief' over these issues as my core duties allow and would be pleased to act as a conduit of information for anyone in the RAN who would like to know more over the next 12 months of my tenure.