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Navy Supply Corps leads the way in a Joint multinational logistics environment.

The logistics challenges that the nation faces have dramatically changed since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Navy Supply Corps officers are morphing themselves into operational logistics experts enhancing the performance, efficiency, sustainability, and combat effectiveness of the forces to provide Joint commanders a critical link to maintaining operational readiness.

Supply Corps leadership has highlighted the importance of this mandated paradigm shift with the establishment of the 928 and 929 Additional Qualification Designation (AQD). The 928 AQD is awarded after completing one year in a non-traditional tour and 929 AQD will be assigned to officers who have completed two or more tours in a qualifying non-traditional billet recognizing those officers who meet the lieutenant commander milestone of two operational tours but do so through successful completion of non-traditional tours.

I have embraced this new found operational logistics career path with both the Seabees and now explosive ordnance disposal, completing tours in both Iraq and now in Afghanistan Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). Currently assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expeditionary Support Unit 1, I am responsible for the management of a $300 million table of allowance (TOA), 350 pieces of civil engineer support equipment, 50 small boats, 2,800 weapons and night vision devices, and logistical and financial support for 900 sailors who make up Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group ONE.

Currently deployed to Afghanistan with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, I lead a logistics department of 24 Joint and civilian personnel supporting Joint Task Force (JTF) Paladin South.

JTF Paladin South is comprised of Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force elements in addition to primary NATO allies (Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and Netherlands) all supporting the mission.

The breadth of responsibilities is tremendous as it ranges from strategic deployment planning through Joint Operational Planning and Execution System (JOPES) to supporting basic commodity requisitions through the Army managed central issue facilities utilizing Department of Defense Activity Address Code (DODAAC) allowing for uninhibited access to subsistence, consumables, uniform items, construction material, ammunition, explosives, repair parts, medical supplies and fuels.

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The logistics staff also manages a Theatre Provided Equipment (TPE) account in excess of $35 million through the Army PropertyBook Office. The growing operator requirements for EOD tactical vehicles, robots, communication systems, biometrics equipment, and weapons make it imperative that there remains total asset visibility of the battle space. Sourcing fielding plans through U.S. Forces Afghanistan Program Managers is only the first step in ensuring sustained logistics readiness. It is imperative in these environments that we share resources and develop integrated logistics capabilities to effectively manage the inventory across southern Afghanistan.

JTF Paladin South Seabees have been a critical enabler in developing interim and enduring facility upgrades throughout RCSouth. Not only have they built up eight forward operating bases for command and control centers and berthing, they have been an integral part to establishing statements of work and project cost estimates for enduring projects to include headquarters buildings, Counter IED training classrooms, Combined Explosive Exploitation Cells, Counter IED Operations Centers and Berthing for three Air Force Flights and Marine Corps CIED elements throughout the AOR.

Working closely with members of all services on a daily basis is the key to logistics success in this environment. Every day we gain valuable perspective of the strengths and capabilities that each service brings to the fight, but the relationships developed are not solely Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. We have developed critical relationships with Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and Rapid Equipping Force to source critical operator shortfalls. Other key relationships that facilitate mission success by attacking the network are supported by Counter IED Operations Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

The luxury of relying on stovepiped systems is not an option in a contingency environment largely because the enemy and requirements to support the warfighter are ever changing. The key to logistics success here is developing relationships with organizations that can enhance the operator's effectiveness, and that is what the JTF Paladin South logistics team has tried to do.

The Navy Supply Corps is quickly transitioning officers into leadership roles as the focus of effort for our warfighters shifts to land-based contingency environments. We are developing a more operationally responsive logistics structure giving young Supply Corps officers leadership opportunities to meet the constant changes in the battlefield and the demands of those we support.

By LT Brian Madden, SC, USN

LT Brian Madden is currently assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expeditionary Support unit 1.
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Author:Madden, Brian
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Date:Nov 1, 2009
Words:760
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