NORFOLK, Va. – Thirty Navy military and civilian personnel from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) in Mechanicsburg, Pa., traveled to the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area of operation to participate in NAVSUP BSC’s Meet the Fleet event, April 10-13.
The four-day event provided an opportunity for NAVSUP BSC employees to observe fleet operations spanning multiple warfare communities, engage directly with Sailors, and gain a deeper understanding of how NAVSUP BSC supported systems impact fleet readiness, modernization, and lethality. These systems range from inventory management software to financial management systems and play a critical role in ensuring the fleet has the supplies and equipment needed to accomplish the mission.
“Meet the Fleet helps answer questions on how our employees fit into this big giant logistics puzzle that is NAVSUP,” said Lt. Salvador Lievanos, project manager and Business/Enterprise Supply Chain Management (BEM) intern assigned to NAVSUP BSC. “NAVSUP BSC is so far removed from a fleet concentration area that it can be difficult for the civilian workforce to understand how their hard work supports Sailors around the world. We were able to meet with supply departments at a submarine and helicopter squadron, allowing us to better understand where parts and food orders start before they make their way through the logistics pipeline.”
During the trip, NAVSUP BSC personnel familiarized themselves with fleet operations during visits to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Albany (SSN-753), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Eight (HSC-28) “Dragon Whales,” Henry J. Kaiser-Class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195), Assault Craft Unit Four (ACU-4), Submarine Learning Facility Norfolk, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Norfolk, NAVSUP BSC Regional Support Site (RSS) Norfolk and Navy Exchange Service Command’s Navy Exchange Norfolk complex.
NAVSUP BSC employees caught a firsthand glimpse of how information systems they develop and maintain are used in the fleet and garnered feedback from Sailors and other end-users.
“Visiting HSC-28 ‘Dragon Whales’ was especially beneficial,” said Tanya Wang, a business and data analyst for NAVSUP BSC Core Business Solutions department. “I have coworkers working on MH-60R hangar decommissioning and transporting the MH-60s to another location. After visiting the squadron and hearing from the crew, I was able to connect it back to work and truly understand the project.”
For some NAVSUP BSC employees, Meet the Fleet was their first encounter with Navy ships.
“As someone who has never been very close to a Navy vessel before, it really gave meaning to the work I do and helped show that it’s more than just working in an office programming on a computer,” said Neil Yoder, an information technology specialist for NAVSUP BSC’s Logistics Integration and Audit Solutions team. “Going on this trip helps show that what we do really does make a difference when it comes to these people’s lives.”
Aboard Albany, employees experienced the tight working and living conditions aboard a submarine and how their efforts enabled readiness and lethality for the crew.
“I think it’s important to show how the work done at NAVSUP BSC enables us to accomplish our mission, no matter where we are in the world,” said Lt. j.g. Rimar West, supply officer assigned to Albany. “Meeting the men and women who support us is a rewarding experience. It reminds us that we are all part of the same team, and it takes all of us to be successful.”
Aboard Philippine Sea, employees met with Ensign Alexander Bowling and discussed NAVSUP BSC-supported programs like One Touch Support.
“I use One Touch every day. I wouldn’t be able to do my job without it,” said Bowling. “Whenever we have an issue or there is an outage, we get great support from NAVSUP BSC. It’s great to be able to put a name to a face to who we’ve been working with.”
At Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story the group talked with Senior Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician James Howard, a craftmaster for landing craft, air cushions (LCAC) assigned to ACU-4, and saw the amphibious craft up close.
“Hearing about their deployment workup schedule, maintenance, and training requirements was mind-blowing, and being able to step on the LCAC and see the vehicle firsthand was incredible,” said Scott Frederick, a financial management analyst for NAVSUP BSC Business Management department. “Watching the LCAC fire up and fly around the flight line and on the water was captivating.”
During a visit to Naval Station Norfolk, employees met with Jeff Yates, site lead for NAVSUP BSC RSS Norfolk, and Cynthia Brown, executive director for NAVSUP FLC Norfolk, to learn more about how the NAVSUP Enterprise is supporting Sailors on the waterfront. NAVSUP BSC RSS employees are positioned regionally to sustain fleet support globally and are located in Norfolk, Virginia; Jacksonville, Florida; Bremerton, Washington; San Diego, California; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
One of the programs highlighted at NAVSUP FLC Norfolk was the Consumable Asset Reutilization Program (CARP). The program provides a Navy-managed capability to reutilize excess material from Navy Working Capital Fund activities and provide a centralized NAVSUP location for ready-to-issue material. NAVSUP BSC supports the program by providing information technology solutions that enable the CARP team to receive and stow material as-is and repack it for shipment when re-issued.
“Being able to meet with the personnel at FLC Norfolk was very impactful,” said Gabe Witmer, a validator for NAVSUP BSC Technology Services department. “They discussed IT systems that I directly worked on to authorize, and it was really great to see how they were being used to support programs to save the Navy money.”
Tod Tyler, project manager for NAVSUP BSC Data/Analytics Solutions department, said the experience provided him a new perspective on how his work supports the Navy.
“Being able to tour the ships, buildings, and workspaces of the Navy fleet in Norfolk gives me a better sense of the environment in which some of the systems I help support,” said Tyler. “It empowers me to realize how my actions can help to directly affect the warfighter in successfully executing their mission. It also heartens me to feel I’m also a part of the Navy family and integral to the success of the Navy mission no matter where they might be around the globe.”
NAVSUP BSC provides the Navy with information systems support through the design, development, and maintenance of systems in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance, and accounting and is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP.
For more information about NAVSUP BSC, visit https://www.navsup.navy.mil/NAVSUP-Enterprise/NAVSUP-Business-Systems-Center/.
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