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Marine Corps Logistics Bases enters expanded battlefield - business world

By Colie Young | | May 24, 2001

Battlefields are no longer limited to dense jungle environments and hot desert war zones. Battlefields have now expanded to the far reaches of the business world.

From fierce new competitors to changing technologies, the government's competitive environment frequently changes. In today's global marketplace -- where Marine Corps Logistics Bases exists -- the operating arena has become fierce and unforgiving.

Because of the constantly shifting external environment, senior leaders here met May 8-10 for LogBases' fourth Strategic Planning Conference. The purpose of this conference was to develop a shared situational awareness, focus on validating key planning factors and generate expectations on how actions will evolve and affect the desired outcome.

Through a detailed strategic planning process, MarCorLogBases' leadership has conducted an exhaustive analysis of the command's internal and external environments.

From mission to supply chain management, finances to human resources, maintenance management to prepositioning, customers to information technology Ð management addressed nearly every key internal and external function of the command. Then, leadership formulated a plan, tying it to those defined by other higher headquarters.

"To better understand our mission," LogBases' commander Brig. Gen. Richard S. Kramlich said, "we analyzed the implied and specified tasks expressed in the Headquarters Marine Corps Logistics Campaign Plan and the Marine Corps Materiel Command Strategic Plan, as well as the potential opportunities and threats facing us in the next three to five years."

When Kramlich arrived here one year ago, LogBases was in the midst of change. From the reorganization of the command's staff to the development of the 'To Be' model of the Program Management Office/Weapon System and Equipment Management sections' integration, MarCorLogBases' infrastructure was evolving.

Moreover, the Maritime Prepositioning Force Program, which falls under Kramlich's charge, was also under change. Even today, the purchase of the property of the Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., continues to be a priority action item.

A-76 competitions were hovering over LogBases', and the workforce was voicing concern. Yet, through it all, the commander was expected to continue to provide the war fighter with timely, responsive, flexible support that is in line with the goals and objectives of the Marine Corps.

All eyes focused on the leadership for solutions to the issues facing LogBases.

"There is no bolt of lightning for me to throw that will give all the
answers," Kramlich told his senior leaders at the conference. "We [as a command] have to deal with the realization that challenges are upon us. Certain things are complex and may not be very pretty, but we must remain up to the challenge to get over the hill.

"One of the most important things we [as leaders] must do is to find out where the great ideas are within our workforce. Let's facilitate those good ideas and get more detailed in our approaches," Kramlich said.

Maj. Gen. Paul M. Lee Jr., commander of Marine Corps Materiel Command, recently said, "Our people are our most precious resource. It is through their individual and collective successes and teamwork that we shall succeed."

Kramlich echoed those words. "MarCorLogBases is comprised of some of the most innovative, dedicated and patriotic logisticians within the Department of Defense," the LogBases commander said. Their collective experiences and talents have, and will in the future, produce logistics excellence in support of our customers."

Combining the talents of senior leaders, middle management and the regular workforce, LogBases began to move forward.

In the latter half of 2000, success stories were being told. One example is the Centralized Secondary Repairables Management initiative in support of Integrated Logistics Capability.

This initiative defined the commander's vision of gaining total SECREP visibility, centralized management, precision stock positioning and levels, responsive and reliable distribution channels, real-time or near-time distributed information management, and more centralized financial management.

Now that the senior leadership of LogBases has concluded their fourth conference, even greater successes are envisioned as LogBases becomes more focused on the challenges ahead and moves toward Full Operational Capability for Centralized SECREP Management.

The commander intends on influencing command behavior through their full understanding of LogBases' Strategic Plan.

"The Strategic Plan contains material essential to our continuing efforts to evaluate LogBases' current state, assess the desired future state and ensure we validate the key planning factors that will close the gap between present and future," Kramlich said.

"Along those lines, it is critical that this document be read in its entirety because it paints an accurate picture of the challenges facing this command in executing a viable Strategic Plan," he concluded.

Kramlich's mission and vision statements, along with the LogBases' Strategic Plan, can be viewed on LogBases' web page at www.ala.usmc.mil.