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Maritime Logistics Community News : Winter 2011
18 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER WINTER 2011 After nearly ten years in the Navy and postings to Fleet Logistic Support Elements Darwin and Coonawarra, Joint Logistics Unit-North, the Aviation Force Element Group and some sea time, I thought that I had ensured a well rounded work life. After a couple of months here at the ANZAC Systems Program Office (SPO), I now realise that the DMO opens up a whole different career path for Supply Officers. Initial Impressions The first few weeks in my role as the Support and Planning Manager (located within the Sustainment section of the ANZAC SPO) were a blur of acronyms, policy and confusing work practices. However, after the initial shock wore off and with a couple of helpful courses under my belt, the job became an interesting and challenging one with ample opportunity to learn and experience. My key areas of responsibility are: the support of external maintenance availabilities (EMAs) for the eight ANZAC Class ships; urgent defect (URDEF) rectification; and any other financial and logistical issues that concern the Sustainment section. The development of procurement strategies and management of finances during an EMA is a key aspect of the job, becoming more prominent with the cost conscious culture being adopted within Navy. In addition to myself, there are two other supply positions within the Sustainment Section -- LEUT Paul Tucker fills the Materiel Support Manager role with CPOSN Robert "Pops" Thwaites in the Materiel Support Supervisor position. As the names suggest, these roles deal with materiel support to EMAs, with some limited exposure to URDEF rectification. While my position does not work in these areas on a daily basis, there is scope to become more involved in materiel management and understand exactly how a SPO supports a ship materially during an EMA. Observations of working in DMO During the four months that I have been working at the ANZAC SPO, the following points have become evident: •DMO is an intense working environment which requires training, support and hard work to understand; • Postings within the DMO open up areas such as Integrated Logistic Support (ILS), contracting and project management to Supply Officers; • Gives an insight into how Commercial Industry operates, as well as experience in interacting with Industry; and •It is not easy to "hit the ground running" when posted to an area within the DMO. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to understand the roles and responsibilities of these positions, at which point you are usually getting ready to move onto another posting. Benefits of a posting to the DMO As I stated earlier, a posting to a DMO position opens up a range of new and varied career options for Supply Officers. Some of the benefits of working within the DMO include: • Exposure to commercial practices and integrated logistics support, • Experience in developing in depth procurement strategies, • Experience in the tendering process and contract development and implementation, • Opportunity to gain skills and experience that are valued in outside industry; • Develop an understanding why the DMO exists, how it works and what support can be received from the agency, and • An opportunity to work in area other than operational logistics. Training Within the first two months of returning to work, I completed the ASDEFCON (Support) course -- a course that focuses on the writing of contracts via the use of the ASDEFCON templates and Complex Procurement. The difference that these courses made to my ability to conduct day to day business was significant. It made understanding processes and requirements far easier and provided valuable knowledge to make informed decisions about tender evaluations plans and procurement strategies. Additional courses that can assist in the transition into the DMO world include: • Materiel Logistics Practioner Course, • DMO Foundations, • DMO Project Management Knowledge, • Supply Chain Management Courses, • ILS Courses, and • Project Management Courses. These courses are available through ONLINE CAMPUS and some can be conducted online at your own pace. Recommendations While working within the ANZAC SPO and DMO has been an enjoyable learning experience so far, it led me to reflect on what would make it easier to work within the DMO environment. Previous to starting this job, my exposure to DMO agencies had been limited. Additionally, the majority Working in the Defence Materiel Organisation Monday, 17 January 2011 was a day of many firsts for me: the first day back at work after 15 months of maternity leave; the first day in DPNUs; the first day as a Lieutenant Commander; and finally the first day working in the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO). BY LCDR LAUREN HARMER, RAN