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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Naval logistics team mulls changes

By Art Powell | | February 8, 2008

A sampling of the Executive Board of the Naval Logistics Integration program met at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Friday for their annual conference to review the latest proposals to streamline logistics services between the Marine Corps and Navy.

 Hosted by Maj. Gen. Willie J. Williams, commanding general, Marine Corps Logistics Command, the group included three other flag officers and staff representatives. Williams is also an NLI Executive Board member.

 “We’re looking at the people, processes and technologies of the Marine Corps and comparing them to those of the Navy to see where we can realize efficiencies,” said Capt. Matthew Scott, future operations officer, Logistics Operations Center, LOGCOM.

 “By integrating our logistics processes, the result is a naval logistics capability that can operate seamlessly afloat or ashore,” he added.

 The NLI functions with action officers from the Navy and the Marine Corps such as Scott who work as champions of initiatives directed by the executive board comprised of the flag officers.

 Initiatives worked by action officers in both services are then forwarded to the NLI senior board for review and comment.

 “They may accept it or recommend another path to achieve our goal,” said Scott. “When everything has been approved by the senior board, it goes to the executive board,” he added.

 “The Naval Logistics Integrations Senior Board consists of representatives at the O-6 and GS-15 level from across the Marine Corps and the Navy,” said Dale Rieck, deputy, Logistics Operations Center, LOGCOM.

 “We review and prioritize initiatives and see which have the greatest benefit for the Marine Corps and Navy and have the greatest savings and the greatest benefit to the warfighter,” he added.

 The process then allows the executive board to approve or modify a proposal.

 “It’s either approved or modified or it can be sent back to us

 to put on the drawing board all over again,” said Scott.

 Samples of the initiatives Scott and other action officers have worked on included one that made changes to how material is routed, called the CRIF, or Cargo Routing Information File.

 “Since a MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) is a moving target, it’s difficult to decide where to send repair parts they need. Before NLI, expediters would send repair parts to predetermined destinations for follow-on routing to the MEU. Because of the dynamic nature of MEU deployments, many times these parts would chase the MEU throughout their deployment,” he said.

 “Now, through NLI, we’ve tied into the Navy system of visibility and ships’ schedules. So, we know where the ships will be and when, so we can get the supplies to the MEU. The result is that the warfighter gets the cargo in a fraction of the time it used to take,” Scott said.

 “It has only advantages, no disadvantages,” he added.

 Another successful initiative is ATAC, Advanced Traceability and Control, similar to CRIF, but aimed at secondary repairable parts.

 Since NLI is a joint service enterprise, representatives from both the Marine Corps and Navy work on initiatives at all three levels.

 “I think its had a tremendous impact. For a while, the Marine Corps and Navy, sister services, had basically independent logistics systems. You’d have Marines embarked on ships and there was no cross support between them and their Navy partners except for food and berthing and things like that,” said Navy Capt. Grisell Collazo, branch head, Logistics Operations Division, Navy Staff, Washington, D.C.

 “But now, the Marines have tapped into the vast logistics systems we have in the Navy, our expediting, our inventory on the ships of the Combat Logistics Forces, and our transportation pipelines. So, in many cases, Marines would leave and take everything with them they thought they’d need and didn’t get much of re-supply during the deployment. Now, they get replenishment hits just like the Navy does,” Collazo added.

 The NLI initiative has demonstrated a workable process that improves services to the Marine Corps and Navy.

 “NLI has moved forward and now we’re actually branching out to ground services because what’s happened is that afloat, we’ve been helping the Marines and now we’re looking at the Marines to help us with our expeditionary ground forces. So, it’s like a partnership to see who’s doing something best and not having to reinvent the wheel,” added the 22-year Navy veteran.