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Welcome to NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support.

If ever a name defined an organization's mission, this is the case with Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support (WSS). Weapon systems used by Navy and Marine Corps Warfighters require spare parts support, and that is exactly what NAVSUP WSS provides.

In a nutshell, NAVSUP WSS makes sure the fleet and other customers have the spare parts they need, when the need them, and where they need them. Spare parts availability is crucial to the combat capability of weapon systems, and providing this capability is at the core of everything NAVSUP WSS does every day.

NAVSUP WSS delivers this capability through value added logistics solutions and integrated supply chain management.

NAVSUP WSS is an innovative, award winning organization, and a Department of Defense (DoD) leader in areas such as Performance Based Logistics (PBL) and use of the virtual organization construct. This article provides a little of NAVSUP WSS' history, some general organizational information, a review of its products and services, and a few statistics that give a sense of the scope of its business operations.

This article will also introduce the command's primary functions, and additional articles in this edition provide a comprehensive view of NAVSUP WSS' operations.


NAVSUP WSS stood up on Oct. 1, 1995, as the Naval Inventory Control Point (NAVICP). Subsequently on July 1, 2011, NAVICP was renamed to NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support as part of the "ONE NAVSUP" initiative.

NAVSUP WSS operates as an "interwoven" or single, virtual command with two primary sites, Philadelphia and Mechanicsburg, both located in Pennsylvania. Mechanicsburg is located just outside of Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, about 110 miles west from Philadelphia via the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Philadelphia is the site which focuses on aviation and international support, while the emphasis in Mechanicsburg is on ships, submarines and nuclear propulsion. NAVSUP WSS also has a small presence in Norfolk, Va., where the Price Fighters department provides cost analyses for Navy and other DoD activities.

Prior to October 1995, both were separate commands ... the Aviation Supply Office (ASO) in Philadelphia, and the Ships Parts Control Center (SPCC) in Mechanicsburg. Both commands had a rich history of their own, and provided outstanding spare parts support for more than 50 years before merging.

The Philadelphia site dates back to 1917 with the establishment of the Naval Aircraft Factory at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. In order to support the expanding and complex Naval Air System, ASO was founded on October 1. In December 1942, ASO moved to its own home within the Naval Aviation Supply Depot at its current location in the Lawncrest area of Philadelphia, on the grounds of the former Keystone Brickyard. For this reason, the base was often referred to as "The Brickyard."

The history of SPCC dates back to 1944 when the Naval Supply Depot, Mechanicsburg, was directed to form a master control for ships' parts. In July 1945, SPCC was established as the single worldwide manager for ships parts, i.e. the mechanical components that are put together to make a ship and its engines. The official commissioning of SPCC took place on July 24, 1953. Submarine and reactor support moved to SPCC in the 1960s, and were consolidated by 1985. Some wonder why an activity supporting ships is located in the middle of Pennsylvania and lore has it that the Mechanicsburg site was chosen because it was as close to Philadelphia and Washington shipyards and major east coast transportation routes as possible, while far enough inland to be out of range of shells from enemy battleships should they reach Washington, Baltimore, or Philadelphia.

In 1996, the Naval International Logistics Control Office (NAVILCO), which provides logistic assistance and foreign military sales support to more than 80 countries, consolidated with NAVICP. The Price Fighters contingent was incorporated in 2004 as part of NAVSUP's transformation initiative.


In the "interwoven" organizational structure, "back-room" support functions such as finance, contracting and information systems support share resources and operate with common processes. The distinct operational codes that directly support Aviation, Ships and Submarines, Nuclear Propulsion and Foreign Military Sales remain intact to support the unique needs of their customers.

NAVSUP WSS successfully operates as a single command by leveraging video teleconferencing (VTC) capabilities, email, and the internet, as well as relatively close proximity, which allows for a leadership presence at both sites. This is an efficient organizational construct in that the labor cost for 468 people has been avoided every year since our stand up in 1995.

The chart below displays the NAVSUP WSS organizational wire diagram. It reflects the virtual structure with the "interwoven" components that support both sites in blue. Rear Adm. John King is NAVSUP WSS' Commander and Karen Meloy is our Vice Commander. Capt. Mark Murphy is the Comptroller, Capt. Chris Mosher is the head Contracting Officer, and Tom Wirfel is the head of Operations Research and Information Technology (IT) Liaison.


Yellow represents the operational components located in Philadelphia. Capt. Leigh Ackart and Capt. Jim Johnson are the Deputy Commanders for Aviation and International Programs, respectively. Capt. Duke Heinz is the head of Aviation Operations, and Cmdr. Dan Hodgson is the head of Fleet Outfitting, Planning & Support. The green blocks are the Maritime components located in Mechanicsburg, with Capt. Derric Turner serving as the Deputy Commander for Ships & Submarines. Capt. Ray Bichard, Capt. Jim LaPointe and Capt. Mark Dibble are the heads of Maritime Operations, Special Emphasis Programs and Nuclear Operations, respectively. The lone orange component is the Engineering & Product Support Directorate headed by Capt. Rick Smitha, which has components at both primary sites as well as Price Fighters in Norfolk.

Business Profile

NAVSUP WSS is a large business enterprise, filling more than 600,000 customer orders and registering annual sales of about $6.3 billion a year.

It is important to note that NAVSUP WSS operates with a revolving fund called the Navy Working Capital Fund (NWCF), where parts are sold to the fleet and in turn, the money is used to buy new spares or repair broken units. This concept will be explored in more detail in the Comptroller article.

NAVSUP WSS controls more than $22 billion in inventory, and is responsible for managing more than 416,000 supply line items, 54 percent of which are repairable components. In fact, NAVSUP WSS' key capability lies in managing the complexities associated with the repairable supply chain. Factors such as source certification, depot facilitization, first article testing, packaging, container development and availability, retrograde management and G condition (awaiting parts) issues must be taken into account.

More than 173,000 repaired units are obtained annually from organic depots and commercial sources. The command also has a robust contracting shop that produces more than 35,000 contract actions a year, primarily related to repair contracts and PBLs. Because of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005, co-located Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) buyers perform new spares procurements, as they do for all the services.


From a resource perspective, NAVSUP WSS employs just fewer than 2,300 people with an operating budget of $274 million, split about evenly between the two primary sites. In addition, NAVSUP WSS has close to 100 military (mostly officers) including 13 Marines. The total force is rounded-out by just more than 100 contractor support personnel.

Like many DoD organizations, NAVSUP WSS downsized significantly during the past several years due to force structure reductions, consolidations, regionalization, outsourcing, major organizational initiatives such as Transformation and BRAC, and general efficiency measures such as Interweaving and Continuous Process Improvement (CPI).

To provide a historical, somewhat eye-popping perspective, at the height of the military build-up in the late 1980s under President Ronald Reagan, the combined workforce for the two sites was more than 7,700! In recent years, however, as many experienced personnel have retired, the command has resumed hiring efforts, bringing almost 1,200 new employees aboard since 2006. This has allowed the command to reshape the workforce with the most up-to-date skill sets, while improving diversity and increasing hiring of veterans and the disabled.

Products and Services (P&S)

Navy Material Supply Chain Management (SCM) is NAVSUP WSS' primary P&S, accounting for almost 80 percent of manpower resources. While Navy Material SCM is the P&S associated with the organization's mission, NAVSUP WSS also has three other significant, totally reimbursable funded P&Ss ... Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Case Management, Engineering Services and Price Fighters.

FMS Case Management services are provided to Navy case managers and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers on a reimbursable basis including case development, execution and closure.

Engineering Support Services involves engineering and technical support for items procured and repaired to meet required specifications. Services are provided to DLA on a reimbursable basis in response to Requests for Engineering Support, commonly referred to as the "339 process."

Price Fighters is an ISO 9000 certified cost and engineering analysis program that offers a complete spectrum of support to the acquisition business management community throughout the Department of the Navy (DoN), DoD and Civilian Federal Agencies in support of total ownership cost reduction efforts. The two primary areas of support are should-cost analysis and consulting services provided to customers on a reimbursable basis.



NAVSUP WSS has a dual focus, both on its more familiar fleet supply support role, but also on its program support role, in order to provide material support through the life cycle of the weapons system. The supply support role is more familiar because it is the more visible "customer focus" role with functions directly related to the planning and execution of material support on a day-to-day basis. The weapon systems focused program support role, however, is less obvious to the customer, yet the functions are equally critical to enabling readiness. Some of the major functions are detailed below.

Fleet Supply Support

* Determine Requirements - Determining customers' current needs for items and projecting out-year requirements for repair and procurement.

* Material Allocation - Managing assets, processing customer orders, and developing and managing the repair workload.

* Procure Material - Contracting for repair services and developing PBL agreements is the function of acquiring supplies & services in support of requirements, in accordance with laws, regulations, policies, and procedures. The activities normally associated are procurement planning, solicitation of offers, the award of contracts, contractor surveillance and the management of active contracts. Note that DLA does the spares procurements for us.

* Allowance Development - Developing and publishing allowances and load lists for normal and contingency operations.

* Financial - Planning and execution of the Command's material budget.

* Customer Service - Interfacing with customers for supply support concerns, and serving as a single face to the Fleet and industrial customers and suppliers for requirements and technical information including monitoring movement, status, backorders and expediting.

Program Support

* Life Cycle Management - Providing cradle to grave support to Hardware Systems Commands (HSCs), from initial production to ramp up into declining systems & ultimately phase out to include decommissioning and disposal.

* Reliability - Using Logistics Engineering Change Proposals (LECPs) to buy improved systems that increase reliability for systems that are performing poorly or reaching obsolescence.

* Item Introduction - Includes identification of items likely to fail in normal course of operations, determining stock levels for shipboard and planeside use, maintaining wholesale stock and arranging support from partners (DLA, vendors, FRCs, etc.).

* Interim Support - A subset of item introduction, involves supply and inventory management support for a new or modified weapon systems/equipment provided from Initial Operational Capability (IOC) date to Material Support Date (MSD).

* Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) - Supporting the HSC in development of coordinated supply, maintenance, training, and transportation of naval weapons systems.

* Maintenance Planning - Developing detailed data pertaining to the identification of maintenance and logistics support resources and requirements for weapon systems and equipments.

* Configuration Management - This is the technical surveillance over the life cycle of items to identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of configuration items; control changes to configuration items and their related documentation; record and report information needed to manage configuration items effectively, including the status of proposed changes and implementation status of approved changes; and, audit configuration items to verify conformance to specifications, drawings, and other contract requirements.

This article introduced NAVSUP WSS's primary functions. Please read on to learn more about NAVSUP WSS' operations.

By George Holland, Executive Staff Officer

NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support

George Holland has 35 years experience at NAVSUP WSS working as a Logistics Manager, Systems Analyst, and in his current position as Executive Staff Officer. He has played a key role in many major organizational changes and holds an MBA in Management Information Systems from LaSalle University.
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Article Details
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Author:Holland, George
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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