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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
46 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 The art of forward operational logistics has been practiced in the Royal Navy for many years and its huge success is credited to the combined efforts of specialist logisticians in both the regular (permanent) navy and the reserve component (RNR). Like the RAN, the Royal Navy is currently operating at a very high operational tempo with ships deployed in a number of theatres spanning from the Middle East to the West Indies. The need for forward logistics support to fleet units is a critical part of operational sustainment and plays largely to achieving a successful mission outcome. More precisely, operational logistics is a capability which ensures the final movement of personnel, mail and cargo (PMC) is delivered to fleet units away from home bases whilst on deployment. Cargo is broadly defined as spare parts, stores, fuel, Explosive Ordnance and any other liquid or dry material necessary for defence assets to remain operational, including the delivery of newspapers! With an increasing importance in the joint environment, the Royal Navy’s logistics role has expanded to include the resupply of Royal Marines and aviation assets afloat within theatre. The RNs forward logistics presence offers full logistics support to all elements in the maritime domain. A RN Forward Logistic Site (FLS) will be involved in all matters necessary to expedite the final movement of supply to maritime assets. Like the RN, the RAN too will have very large LHDs in the near future, with the first ship entering service from 2012. These sophisticated platforms, spanning over 200m length and 32m beam, will be capable of carrying over 2000 troops, a squadron of rotary wing aircraft together with its aviation crew, a fleet of landing craft, as well as a sizable ship’s company, and will be accompanied by a flotilla of warships when underway. A deployed amphibious task force will need forward operational logistics support in order for the task force to complete its mission objectives. RN FLS Capability The Royal Navy’s concept of front end operational logistics (OPLOG) is termed Forward Logistic Site (FLS), and when deployed, the FLS cadre usually work in small teams. Delivering PMC in an efficient and effective manner, an FLS has the capability to serve deployed fleet units ranging in size from a few mine countermeasure vessels up to task force strength with aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Land based, the FLS is a flexible asset able to stand up rapidly and adapt to any environment and move with the task group. An FLS team is usually led by an officer with the support of a junior officer in some cases and sailor rates from Logistics (Logs are reservists) and/ or Supply Chain (SCs are regular navy). In some situations a senior NCO, such as a CPO, can assume the role of FLS Commander (FLS Comd). When deployed, the tactical control of an FLS is usually the theatre commander or a joint operational HQ. The working environment of an FLS varies depending on the mission, but would typically be situated at an air base with access to storage space or a warehouse. The FLS cadre coordinates final delivery of PMC to fleet units Operational Logistics – Royal Navy Style BY CMDR JOHN WILLY, RANR STRATEGIC LIFT COORDINATION CELL, HQJOC The need for an operational logistics capability... CDR IAN PETHICK, RNA (SO1 OC RNR LOGS)