By Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella Public Affairs
Personnel assigned to Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella (NAVSUP FLCSI) planned and executed logistics requirements for U.S. ships visiting Stockholm prior to participation in exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 22, June 1-5, 2022.
NAVSUP FLCSI and their mission partners coordinated the delivery of mail, provisions, and critical repair parts to participating ships, enabling ships to participate in the exercise.
"Our unique ability to support U.S. Navy ships as they prepare to participate in the 51st Baltic Operations exercise is a perfect example of how NAVSUP is expanding logistics capabilities in the High North and delivering operational readiness to the Fleet, where and when our deployed Warfighters need it," said Capt. Douglas S. MacKenzie, NAVSUP FLCSI commanding officer. "Having a NAVSUP presence at these port visits ensures that we remain in an optimal position to support the Navy's dynamic missions, and allows us to continue building relationships with our allies and key mission partners across the Baltic and the High North."
The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78) are among the more than 45 ships from 16 Allied and partner nations currently participating in BALTOPS 22. BALTOPS 22 is the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Sea that aims to strengthen combined response capabilities critical to preserving freedom of navigation and security in the region.
“Our ship’s visit to Stockholm served as a ‘kicking-off’ event for exercise BALTOPS22,” said Cmdr. Josh Melchert, the Kearsarge Supply Officer. “There were practical logistics considerations at play as we prepared to participate in the exercise. The port visit was an ideal opportunity to bring on much-needed, high-priority parts, material and food stores.”
Melchert added that logistics considerations included providing for ship services via barge as well as water and ground transportation between the ship and the pier for crew and visitors.
A team comprising of a logistics specialist chief petty officer from Amphibious Squadron Six and one of NAVSUP FLCSI’s deployable transportation and customs clearance officers served as the Kearsarge’s logistics advance team for the port visit, and ashore detachment unit once the ship arrived.
“Our NAVSUP and Amphibious Squadron Six points of contact were the eyes and ears of our supply department ashore,” Melchert said. “They linked up early with the husbanding service provider to ensure the ship’s specific requirements were being met, and they coordinated the arrival and follow-on transportation of our supplies and food stores that we were set to receive by barge at our moored location.”
In addition to Amphibious Squadron Six and the Kearsarge’s supply department, NAVSUP FLCSI’s mission partners during the port visit in Stockholm included a representative from the U.S. 6th Fleet Contracting Officer Representative Program Office (N412) who ensured that the U.S. ships received all the services delineated in the husbanding services task order contract.
While present on-site, the representative ensured quality of service on the part of the husbanding service provider (HSP) and acted as liaison between the NAVSUP’s contracting team, the ships’ supply officers, and the Swedish HSP to resolve any contract issues that arose.
“If our ships identified additional HSP service requirements that may arise during the port visit execution, I would work directly with NAVSUP’s contracting officer so that the requirements are added to the contract in a timely manner,” said Samantha Toles, U.S. Sixth Fleet Code 412 program analyst. “Only after the requirements are properly validated and authorized could the NAVSUP logistics and transportation team freely coordinate the movements at the time of port visit execution.”
Nations participating in BALTOPS 22 include Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. From June 5-17, 2022, more than 7,000 participating personnel will exercise a myriad of capabilities demonstrating the inherent flexibility of maritime forces, including: amphibious operations, gunnery, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, unmanned underwater vehicles, and medical response.
FLCSI is one of NAVSUP's eight globally-positioned commands that provides a 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.
BALTOPS 22 is the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region. The exercise, led by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and executed by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, provides a unique training opportunity to strengthen combined response capabilities critical to preserving freedom of navigation and security in the Baltic Sea.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our Allies and Partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.