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MEDITERRANEAN SEA - Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella (NAVSUP FLCSI) and the U.S. Army's 21st Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) have been collaborating in recent years to develop and test contingency plans in the European Theater in an effort to improve joint efficiencies and enable flexible capabilities for supporting logistics requirements of U.S. and NATO Warfighters operating across the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (USNAVEUR-AF) area of operations.
As part of this joint service collaborative effort, leaders from the two logistics commands and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Distribution conducted a professional development session aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Jan. 12, 2023. This session allowed participants to learn more about each other's organizations and current operational planning efforts.
"This professional development session was an ideal opportunity for NAVSUP FLCSI attendees to learn more about how the U.S. Army is setting the European theater and establishing joint logistics capabilities," said Capt. Douglas S. MacKenzie, NAVSUP FLCSI commanding officer. "From our discussions, all participants gained insights into how we - as a joint force - can better exploit the synergy of our logistics organizations."
During the event, participants discussed current USNAVEUR operations plans, particularly the U.S. Army's Theater Concept of Sustainment.
Lt. Col. Scott Gum, Theater Movement Center- Europe chief, represented the U.S. Army's 21st TSC aboard the George H.W. Bush and provided a briefing to the event attendees that covered its organization's mission and capabilities.
"A key message I conveyed to my U.S. Navy logistics colleagues was that in order to effectively set the European Theater for logistics, options are required as is a flexibility and a true understanding of commercial and military support capacities," Gum said.
George H.W. Bush's supply department members also attended the professional development session.
"Lt. Col. Gum's briefing was very insightful and articulated the importance of logistical interoperability in the region and within DoD services," said Cmdr. Don McIntyre, USS George H.W. Bush supply officer. "Each military service branch faces unique logistical challenges but by understanding them from a holistic perspective, our services can leverage our strengths and create solution sets in an operational environment to maximize efficiency and lethality of our combined forces. The discussions between NAVSUP FLCSI and the 21st TSC truly opened up the aperture for junior supply officers about the continued direction of joint U.S. military operations and the importance of what Get Real Get Better brings to the fight!"
George H.W. Bush is the flagship of the Bush Carrier Strike Group, which is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
"The ship was an ideal venue for this kind of professional development session for our two logistics communities," Gum said. "The European theater has some of the most challenging problem sets for logistics and sustainment operations in support of NATO, Allies and partner nations. Sharing our communicating sustainment plans is critical to closing gaps and seams of getting logistics to the point of need as a joint force and also in identifying shared concepts and ways of better supporting operations. Joint matters!"
Supply and logistics professionals assigned to George H.W. Bush echoed Gum's statements about the importance of sharing tactics, techniques and procedures.
"Our discussion with Lt. Col. Gum and the FLCSI leadership was an opportunity to learn how a carrier strike group fits into a theater's joint logistics efforts; specifically how George H.W. Bush is connected to efforts across USNAVEUR," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Curtis, George H.W. Bush principal assistant for services (PAS). "The visit with these leaders was an important chance for us to learn from two organizations executing logistics at a joint level and how we, as supply corps officers, may be able to leverage their capabilities later in our careers."
Gum and Cmdr. Ed Windas, NAVSUP FLCSI operations officer, agreed that the success of the professional development session aboard George H.W. Bush is just the beginning of a productive and mutually-beneficial relationship between the 21st TSC and NAVSUP FLCSI.
"Our two logistics organizations will continue to identify future opportunities to strengthen our relationship to set the European theater through plans, joint exercises and engagements with nations and NATO," Gum said. "By aligning strategic engagements and finding exercises to test joint capability, we will continue to improve logistics support capability and capacity in Europe."
"From a NAVSUP FLCSI perspective, we needed this event to be successful and it was," Windas said. "Any conflict requiring U.S. kinetic military action will not be fought in a vacuum. Resources are limited - whether they be specific classes of supply, ground lines of transportation, or points of access to sea ports for re-supply. As the U.S. military logistics leaders in Europe, we have an obligation to understand how our joint forces will be brought to bear. Only through constant dialogue with our U.S. Army logistics counterparts can we manage risk and exploit the opportunities this AOR presents."
George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. CSG-10 comprises George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).
NAVSUP FLCSI logisticians, customs clearance and transportation managers, along with their mission partners, have delivered more than one million pounds of mail and nearly one million pounds of mission-related cargo to George H.W. Bush CSG crewmembers since they began operating in theater in August 2022.
21st TSC executes mission command of operational sustainment across the European and African Theater, by interfacing, integrating, and pursuing interoperability with U.S., NATO, and other partner nations to facilitate theater sustainment and freedom of maneuver for combined allied forces. The TSC moves all U.S. Army forces and logistics throughout the European theater with all modes of transport and by closely partnering with Allied and partner nations.
FLCSI is one of NAVSUP's eight globally-positioned commands that provides for the full range of solutions for logistics, business and support services to the U.S. Naval, Joint, NATO and Allied Forces across 14 enduring and forward operating sites; forward contingency and cooperative security locations in 13 countries in Europe and Africa.
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