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Preparing for operational success.

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) recently returned from a successful seven-month deployment to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

Some of the Truman's and Carrier Air Wing Three's (CVW 3) statistics highlights from deployment include:

* 7,811 Combat Sorties

* 98.9% Sortie Completion Rate

* 210 Flight Hours/Day Average

* 107% of Ready Basic Aircraft Goal

* 22.6 Off-Ship Requisitions

* 2 CASREPs Average (parts only)

In order to achieve operational success, a strong relationship and coordinated preparations between Truman's Supply Department, the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) and the CVW-3 maintenance team were essential. Our focus throughout the pre-deployment workup cycle was to ensure we were ready to excel during deployment, but in particular, Truman's Supply Team focused on enhancing the Aviation Consolidated Allowance List (AVCAL), overall process improvement, stores load outs, optimizing the logistics pipeline, and establishing a strong Beach Detachment.

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According to Truman's Supply Officer, Cmdr. Chris Parker, "We knew there were challenges out there, and that other CVNs seemed to have cracked the code to be effective,"he explained." We just wanted to build upon their successes to ensure we also could provide the entire HST Strike Group with the logistics support they would need to excel in supporting our operational mission."

AVCAL (Aviation Consolidated Allowance List)

CVNs typically receive their AVCAL allowance package eight months prior to entering surge status. Truman was able to take advantage of a slip in our deployment date to take a closer look at the 90 day allowance of repairables and consumables we were initially provided. S-6 conducted a review of previous CVW-3 demand, including Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) requirements, as well as comparing our allowances to the demands experienced by several of the recently deployed carriers with similar deck loads.

In coordination with Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) and Naval Inventory Control Point (NAVICP), Truman obtained allowance adds/ increases for 1,254 line items. These additional line items were part of the refresh we received one month before we deployed, and resulted in a net effectiveness of 85.2 percent against those adds/ increases while also averting dozens of off-ship requirements throughout deployment. Such coordinated effort to enhance the AVCAL real-time based on solid statistical analysis proved to be a huge win for Truman.

Although allowance changes were very successful, they were not the true key to Truman's continuing success. Once requisitions for Truman's AVCAL Refresh were dropped, S-6 worked feverishly to get those parts on board, including working closely with AIRLANT and Naval Inventory Control Point (NAVICP) for more scarce items, as well as coordinating with repair facilities to coordinate repair-and-return items to maximize our range and depth prior to deployment. CNAF expeditors pushed cross-decks our way from across the CVN-fleet and we took away a lot of lessons learned and additional in-theater cross decks from the IKE (thanks again, IKE)! The entire team pulled together as we neared our deployment date and became more aggressive. Resultant teamwork ensured we had what we needed onboard, so we left the pier with a pre-deployment range and depth of 96/94.

Process Improvements

In concert with several ongoing AIRSPEED initiatives from CNAF, Truman replaced the traditional Rotational Pool (RPOOL) with the newly developed Velocity Pool (VPOOL). While RPOOL required the ship to have repair capability to qualify, VPOOL eligibility was determined solely on average monthly demand. This realignment expanded the pool of "fast movers," and resulted in relocating to the repairable asset management (RAM) complex of storerooms near the hangar bay. The move consolidated all repairables under the purview of RAM leadership, resulted in some manpower efficiencies, and put VPOOL to the customer.

The vacated RPOOL space next to the awaiting parts unit (AWP) in the tunnel provided a perfect location for our component control section (CCS). The collocation of CCS and AWP consolidated all of our NRFI assets in one location, facilitating greater accountability. It also allowed us to add more manpower to retrograde processing in CCS by utilizing the AWP custodian. The improvements enabled S-6 to efficiently process 4,927 pieces of retrograde valued at $296 million, with zero discrepancies.

Stores Load Outs

While preparing for deployment, we knew we needed to plan all of our load outs with the same care and analysis we used in formulating our AVCAL. Based on contact with CTF-53, CTF-63, deployed and recently deployed ships, we researched what critical items were not readily available for them during transit or in-theater, and looked into specific shipping channels and schedules available during our deployment timeline.

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Each division developed an in-depth load plan based on shelf-life, heat sensitivity, ease of transport, and volume prior to commencing their full-blown pre-deployment endurance load. Each division also groomed their list of "never out" items, and ensured re-order points were accurate based on the likely replenishment pipeline and their criticality to the overall operation. We paid particular attention to HAZMAT due to constraints on shipping material into theater. Working closely with CVW-3 and utilizing lessons learned from IKE (thanks again, IKE) we forecasted demand and loaded out to maximum endurance for all critical aviation-related HAZMAT. Never out lists were continually monitored and adjusted as necessary throughout the deployment.

Also prior to deployment, we were assigned a T-AKE that would be virtually tethered to the Truman Strike Group throughout deployment. Most of our departmental khaki were offered tours of USNS Robert E. Perry (T-AKE 5) to see their storerooms and setup--they are enormous warehouses. We ended up deploying with USNS Sacagawea (AKE-2), but brought all of those lessons forward. Sacagawea graciously allowed Truman to pre-stage about 500 pallets of food, stores and HAZMAT that greatly enhanced our endurance load. Each pallet was manifested by commodity and numbered to enable specific request by pallet during our first few RAS events. Additionally, we pre-loaded our entire initial underway replenishment (UNREP) load of frozen and dry stores, which ensured 100 percent support of the cycle menu as we arrived in theater. As we arrived in 5th Fleet, CTF- 53 was exceptionally supportive in allowing us to stage much of the Sacagawea material that remained in Jebel Ali, which we were able to gradually absorb our first month in theater. Our efforts here paid off immediately and ensured we were able to completely sustain our operation throughout deployment. In fact, we never ran out of a single "never out" item.

The Logistics Pipeline

Based on previous deployment information, we knew we would face numerous logistics pipeline challenges due to the volume of material and stores required to sustain a CVN's demand and constraints placed on carrier onboard delivery (COD) support while transiting. Logistics loads, while critical, frequently took a back seat to the numerous high-level distinguished visitor requirements levied in each theater. Knowing of that limiting factor, we planned for it and looked for other opportunities whenever possible.

Detailed planning for logistics heads for the transit into theater and back home was absolutely crucial to keeping RBA up, off-ships down, clearing casualty reports (CASREP), and getting mail out to the crew. We met with log planners at Commander, Task Force 53 (CTF 53), as well as Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40) before the deployment to develop an aggressive plan to ensure our material would continue to flow at every stage of the transit. The plan included routing material to Rota, Sigonella, and Djibouti before starting theater operations out of Bahrain.

By utilizing Djibouti, we were able to get several more COD hits during the 10-day gap between CODS from Sigonella and Bahrain. This helped us enter the fight on a high note, as we arrived in-theater for Operation Enduring Freedom flights with an RBA already over goal and single-digit off-ships outstanding. We did the reverse on the way home, routing critical parts for the Carrier Air Wing 3 (CVW-3) fly off and arranging for an opportune Combat Logistics Force (CLF) surface lift of our TP3 material to meet us while inport at Souda Bay.

We also knew that COD availability and payload would be limited while on-station in the Arabian Sea, but that the attached T-AKE would be available for a weekly RAS event.

Prior COD detachments had difficulty keeping both CODs up and running for the entire deployment, so VRC-40 came up with a plan to stretch the service life of the CODs. The plan called for two CODs three days a week, one COD three days a week and a no-fly day once a week. That extra maintenance time ensured a far higher COD availability than we had expected, resulting in only six days where CODs were not operational during the entire deployment.

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We had to plan, though, to make it work ... only high priority material, PAX and mail made it to the COD. All other routine items (and even some PAX) were transported via coordinated surface/airlift by CTF53 to UAE and onto our T-AKE for that week's RAS. Timing and a sharp Beach Detachment were key to making the plan work, and it did.

Beach Detachment

When so much was riding on rapid arrival of high-priority material, we knew we had to stack the deck on our Beach Detachment. Although costly in the work-up cycle, we assigned an LSCS as our Home Guard LCPO in Norfolk, and one of our sharpest LSCs from S-6 in-theater. We stocked their detachments with a few "early promotable" Sailors, and ensured our expeditors were some of our best. Again, it was a tough choice, but it paid off. Beach Detachment quickly figured out customs clearance issues, AMC schedules and obtained access to multiple systems to track material. We maintained daily contact with our detachments to ensure our material was in constant motion to Truman.

The Home Guard was responsible for picking up locally stocked and delivered items, performing open purchases, packaging stores, shipping high-pris, and manifesting cargo for AMC flights. In order to maintain total asset visibility, we had our Home Guard send manifests every day with triwall numbers, the contents in them, manifest lists for AMC flights, and tracking information for high-pris sent via World Wide Express. Our Home Guard was there every time AMC loaded a flight, ensuring our material made it on board and getting more on if there was "extra" space.

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Our Gypsy Detachment sent similar daily manifests for everything received that day, material on hand, and material loaded on the CODs that morning. It was their responsibility to separate the high-priority requisitions and get them out to the ship via the next available COD. They also routed lower priority material to Fujairah to load on the Sacagawea for our next RAS, or to our next port visit location.

Chief worked every day with VRC-40 and the CTF-53 air and surface routers to keep the material moving out to the ship. Throughout the cruise we maintained a "clear the beach" mentality to prevent anything from becoming stranded, and a "clear the mountain" attitude; as soon as we received material, we immediately stowed or issued the materials. We used logbooks on Truman to record all DTO material for HST divisions and other ships in the battle group.

According to Lt. Cmdr. Wade Rindy, Truman's PAL and CSG-10 Material Control Officer, "The maintenance of our manifests and logs were critical to tracking our high-pri requisitions, allowing us to find a part anywhere in the logistics chain from the supply source all the way to the customer's hands."

Executing the Plan

All of the long hours we spent gathering information and points of contact, then planning for deployment paid off once we arrived in theater. The plan was not perfect, and we did tweak it along the way based on variability in the operational cycle and the ability to absorb material faster due to improved RAS proficiency along the way. The key was that we created a solid plan well in advance of deployment, we constantly monitored and measured results, then made adjustments in coordination with all the support activities and our own detachments.

Perhaps there was an element of luck as well, but as Thomas Jefferson stated, "I am a great believer in luck, I find the harder I work the more I have of it."

By Lt. Cmdr. Wade Rindy, SC, USN, Principal Assistant for Logistics and Lt. Anthony Bannister, SC, USN, Aviation Support Division Officer (S6), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)
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Title Annotation:USS Harry S. Truman
Author:Rindy, Wade; Bannister, Anthony; Truman, Harry S.
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2011
Words:2069
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