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LogBases commander shares vision

By Colie Young | | April 19, 2001

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Editor's Note: The Marine Corps Logistics Bases Strategic Plan 2001 can be viewed in its entirety by using the 'Index' link on the LogBases' [home] web page, www.ala.usmc.mil. The LogBases' commander Brig. Gen. Richard S. Kramlich, stresses [to every military and civilian member of the LogBases' workforce] the importance of reading and fully understanding the strategic plan and its goals.

The website has been created in 'Bobbie-approved architecture' which makes it handicapped accessible.

Even after celebrating 25 years of sustained success, Marine Corps Logistics Bases refuses to rest on its laurels. With the official release of the LogBases Strategic Plan 2001, Brig. Gen. Richard S. Kramlich, commander of LogBases, has poised this command to reach and achieve even greater success over the next five years.

The framework of the plan, a product of over 18 months of developing and revising a bold logistics vision, articulates a new vector for the future for LogBases, aligned with the latest concepts of Marine Corps logistics support.

"General [James L.] Jones, our 32nd commandant, recently said, 'We must organize and operate in such a way that commanders have absolute confidence that required support will be provided when and where it is needed,'" Kramlich wrote in the plan's introduction.

Although few in words, the implications of this challenge to LogBases are profound.

Put in Marine Corps war fighter terms, when a Marine calls for fire, he knows it's coming.

"Our task, as implied in the Commandant's words, is to give that Marine the same absolute confidence that when he needs the kind of logistics support that MarCorLogBases provides, he'll have it," Kramlich said.

"For any plan to be effective, the vision, mission and values must be translated into clear objectives, measures and relevant metrics by which the command can gauge its success in implementation of the strategy," said Maj. John Stevens, future operations officer for MarCorLogBases.

"The Strategic Planning Working Group has gone through an extremely thorough process," said Stevens.

"Not only have we determined our vision, we've assessed both the internal and external environments, formulated a strategy to bridge the gap, created a strategic management framework using the balanced scorecard, portrayed potential scenarios, constructed a plan and put it to work," said Stevens.

Participants in the SPWG have not been limited to LogBases' personnel.

In addition to LogBases' senior leadership, select middle managers, members of Marine Corps Materiel Command, Marine Corps Systems Command, the Defense Logistics Agency and the American Federation of Government Employees have all played important roles in formulating the plan.

"This is a significant departure from the way plans used to be written," Stevens explained.

"In the past it used to be a very sequential operation -- linear -- with the higher command articulating a plan, then passing it to a subordinate command for staffing comments, then eventually publishing a final plan that would trickle down through the chain of command.

"The new Marine Corps planning doctrine does anything but that," Stevens continued. "It encourages different commands -- higher and adjacent -- to plan together where their planning cells unite to form a more collaborative plan to eliminate the formal structured staffing process.

"We've done that. We've looked not just one echelon up [which is MatCom], but we've gone two echelons up [Installations and Logistics, Headquarters Marine Corps] to ensure our strategic plan is aligned with both," Stevens explained.

"We've even had representatives go up to I&L to interview the authors of their campaign plan to make sure we understood it and to ensure everything would be aligned with other command facets," added Capt. Peter Mahoney, LogBases" future operations analyst.

"We went through our plan," Mahoney continued, "and where we saw something that directly pertains to either the Marine Corps campaign plan or the MatCom plan, we identified it and cross referenced it to our plan."

Stevens pointed out that even with the commands working together to formulate a cohesive plan, senior leadership understands that the external environment is always changing, so strategy never stops.

"The SWPG will continuously review the strategic plan to ensure it remains a living document," Stevens emphasized. "What we have now is an unclouded set of objectives to identify the future we [LogBases] want to create. We're clearly headed in the right direction.

"This is why it is of the utmost importance that the workforce read, understand and implement the objectives set forth in the strategic plan. General Kramlich participated in the development of the plan's words and has been deeply involved with every phase of its evolution," Stevens said.

"The strategic plan paints a picture of what LogBases' future looks like. We want LogBases to be positioned, three-to-five years down the road, to be able to meet up with that picture," Stevens concluded.

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