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Logistics in Action Supports Forward Deployed Naval Forces: Training symposium, readiness keeps supply community mission effective
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Corporate Communications
YOKOSUKA, Japan – U.S. Navy Supply Corps officers and other logistics support representatives from NAVSUP Fleet Logistic Center (FLC) Yokosuka and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Distribution Yokosuka, Japan sponsored the 3rd Annual Operational Logistics (OPLOG) Symposium and training event onboard Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka Feb. 13.
The event allowed for Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) supply teams to learn the latest “rules and tools” that go into best supporting ships and their crews in the U.S. Navy’s largest area of responsibility (AOR). Afterwards, the participants were able to visit vendor exhibition booths to see the latest products and services available to Navy customers.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the LSRs (logistics support representatives) and SUPPOs (Supply Corps officers),” said Capt. Paul Lyons, commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and guest speaker during the OPLOG event. “What you are doing counts…you are getting us all the material we need to get our ships to sea.”
The Supply Corps is one of the oldest staff corps in the U.S. Navy. Supply Corps officers are concerned with supply, logistics, combat support, readiness, contracting and fiscal issues. The official motto of the Supply Corps is "Ready for Sea" - reflecting the Supply Corps' longstanding role in sustaining warfighting.
Lyons later described how the operators and suppliers work together to accomplish the mission.
“This is a partnership and we share the mission,” said Lyons. “We need to keep our ships ready to fight and get underway.”
There is no dull day for FDNF, said Lyons, adding that he admires the work of the supply community in the AOR.
“I can’t think of a commitment we haven’t met,” said Lyons
Part of meeting those operational commitments requires ship maintenance.
“We can’t afford to have [ships] running all over the battlespace without an oil change or getting their tires checked,” said Capt. Ron Carr, Assistant Chief of Staff, Logistics, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet and guest speaker during the OPLOG event, in reference to the importance of sustainment in mission accomplishment.
Sustaining the waterfront and providing 24/7 support is a goal shared by many of the event organizers.
“The OPLOG Symposium was highly successful,” said Cmdr. Mark Sheffield, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Operations Director and event lead. “We were able to provide a forum to discuss high level operational logistics with the 7th Fleet supply teams.”
The training and open communication between fellow logistics and operational stakeholders will help mission accomplishment and allow NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka to provide the services and material when and where the warfighter needs it, said Sheffield.
Product and service vendors also appreciated the face time with their Navy customers.
“We use these events as a platform to show our new products and tell our customers what we can and can’t do,” said James Tinkham, Okinawa Office Manager for DHL Global Forwarding. “This was a great forum to interact with our customers.”
Additionally, joint service branch partners were able to take part in the training and readiness event.
“Events like this are great for networking and meeting our Navy counterparts” said U.S. Air Force Cpt. Sarah Kline, Ariel Port Operations Officer, 730th Air Mobility Squadron. “We support 7th Fleet and DLA, so it is good to be able to talk with them and make that person to person connection.”
At the end of the day, whether you were an operator, a supplier, a vendor or a customer, a better understanding of operational logistics requirements and capabilities was shared with all participants in order to best serve the forward deployed warfighter now and in the future.