Forward Logistic Sites support Navy warfighters

Our Naval forces of U.S. 5th Fleet operate day in and day out to support missions like Operation Enduring Freedom, maritime security operations, and cooperation exercises with our partners in the region. None of these exercises, operations or daily tasks would be possible without a well-coordinated sustainment plan and the associated infrastructure. MSC provides that sustainment by working with 5th Fleet’s other task forces, and Combined Maritime Forces members, to meet supply and logistics demands of ships across the region. These three commands fulfill different aspects of the overarching sustainment mission, and work together to get our forces what they need. The following blog is part of a series focused on MSC support to 5th Fleet, written by Lt. j.g. Paul Williams, a Navy reservist who visited the Central Command AOR during May 2013.

What do you do if your ship is in urgent need of supplies, repair parts or personnel? We we rely on forward logistic sites (FLS) in the Middle East to address emergent needs as well as routine shipments for 5th Fleet and our regional partners.

During a recent interview, Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Crosby, officer in charge of a port liaison element, highlighted a contingency his team responded to and the importance of forward logistics personnel.

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“A U.S. Navy ship had a collision last August and among the damage had lost most of its electrical power, including power to the air conditioning system. The crew arrived in port after performing major damage control work for over 12 hours. They were exhausted. Our team snapped into action and secured berthing for the crew and other essentials to put them back on their feet. The ship stayed at the pier undergoing repairs for approximately six weeks before they were able to return to Norfolk for further repairs. Seeing our combined team be able to respond and assist the ship and crew was during this period was very rewarding.”

In addition to sea-ports, Logistic Forces, Naval Forces Central Command operates several FLS’s that provide air cargo and air passenger services. These sites also provide immigration services for passengers traveling through sea or air ports to help streamline the transportation process. They do all this with a small but capable crew.

“We are such a small group here,” said Crosby. “It is truly amazing what we are able to accomplish. I have other U.S. military service members and coalition partners compliment me frequently regarding how much we do with what we have.”

Crosby went on to mention the teamwork with other U.S. service members and coalition partners who play a major role in providing warfighters with the supplies and cargo they need, quickly, safely and cost effectively.

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