It’s an amazing feat that occurs daily when you consider how efficiently the Navy’s Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers (FISC) globally provide integrated supply and support services to Fleet units and shore activities. During RADM Mark Heinrich’s presentation to SDMAC members in January, he focused his remarks on three major areas of FISC’s ongoing activities.
First, in support of maritime strategy, FISCs have been meeting the following worldwide commitments:
* Military support has been provided to military teams in the western Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as the 25th Infantry Division for Iraqi Freedom.
* FISC Jacksonville has been on the forefront of humanitarian support efforts for Haiti. So far, they have delivered 80,000 cases of bottled water a day and over 1,200 pallets of Project Handclasp material. Additionally, more than one million ready-to-eat meals were loaded onto the USNS Sacagawea for immediate delivery to Haiti. They also provided extensive support for the load-out of USNS Comfort with active and reserve medical teams and supplies.
* FISC Pearl Harbor has been ramping up for support of the Virginia class SSN.
* FISC San Diego has been a major player in the construction and introduction of the new $195 million Point Loma fuel farm that will service the Fleet for many years to come.
* FISC Sigonella has been heavily involved with supporting Persian Gulf operations and anti-piracy efforts in progress in the Horn of Africa area.
Second, FISC has been undergoing business process improvements. A major effort is underway to integrate FISC’s management practices and priorities with operational commanders’ decision processes so as to align business practices to the same environment as the operational commander. This necessitates a paradigm shift that deemphasizes the "industrial" part of FISC and reemphasizes the "Fleet" part of FISC so as to focus on enhanced direct support to Fleet units. One initiative supporting this effort is the reduction of the number of individual local support contracts to a smaller and more manageable number of regional support contracts.
Third, in keeping with the reduced manning level of littoral combat ships (LCS), the Supply Department manning plan is to have one storekeeper and four culinary specialists. This will challenge FISC’s distance support capabilities as continuous monitoring and support for these ships will be required regardless of their physical location. As RADM Heinrich stated, "This will test our capabilities as never before."