NEWS | Aug. 13, 2019

Yokosuka Logistics Team Played Key Support Role During Talisman Saber 19 Exercise

By Tina C. Stillions NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka (FLCY) again played a key support role during the biannual Talisman Saber 19 (TS19) exercise which took place in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area near Rockhampton, Australia June 1 through July 31.

The bilateral exercise provided an important training opportunity for the command to deliver global logistics services, postal support and advanced traceability (ATAC) and control to the 14 ships participating in TS19.

According to NAVSUP FLCY Commanding Officer Capt. Frank Nevarez, the exercise was crucial.

“This year’s TS19 gave us the opportunity to continue to integrate our NAVSUP Logistics enterprise and strengthen our Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Military Sealift Command (MSC) and host nation partnerships,” said Nevarez. “The team was able to utilize various logistics capabilities, such as Enterprise Logistics Response Team, Reserve forces and DLA's deployable distribution center to help set up the logistic hub in Australia. As a result, we decreased transit times for materials, food provisions and fuel for USS Wasp (LHD 1) Amphibious Ready Group and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group warfighters.”

Held every two years, the exercise provides the military an opportunity to integrate capability with partner nations. Through various training scenarios that test lethality and interoperability across platforms and domains, TS19 provides a venue for sharpening skills and course correcting any potential issues.

AJ Corcoran, a logistics plans specialist for FLCY, said the team worked side-by-side with its Australian counterparts to ensure logistics support remained synchronized and on schedule.

“I was amazed at the dedication to mission the team displayed on a daily basis,” said Corcoran. “It was not uncommon for the team to work 20 hour days back-to-back.”

The exercise proved to be an effective platform for planning, training and gathering current mission execution information for naval logistics integration. Deployed command personnel included a mix of Reserve and active-duty Sailors who established and ran a material processing center and coordinated the delivery of cargo, mail and food to MSC Combat Logistics Force ships anchored off shore.

Gunnery Sgt. Brandon Winn, FLCY Marine liaison, said the team work exhibited between nations was the epitome of an alliance.

“This exercise was truly a bilateral exercise that allowed our countries to better the partnership among military service members and civilians,” said Winn. “I was able to witness first-hand how multiple forces from different countries come together as one force to reach an ultimate end state, which was to support our ships.”

During TS19, the team augmented the U.S. Air Force aerial mail terminal. Sailors from FLCY were sent to Sydney and Townsville where they received all inbound Navy mail, assembled and packaged it, and then delivered it to ships out at sea. In addition, the team practiced ATAC protocol by receiving retrograde material offloaded from Navy customers and arranging transportation back to the appropriate repair facilities worldwide. Assets were acquired via mutual logistics agreements with Australia and U.S. Army contracting teams supporting the exercise. These were used to coordinate warehouse space, assembly lots and transportation and obtain shipping containers, forklifts, pallet jacks, flood lighting and communications devices.

Logistics Support Representative Lt. Jeff Chen, who was responsible for tracking metrics, providing remote assistance and keeping command leadership aware of operations in country, said there were a lot of moving parts to coordinate.

“It was an all hands effort and communication was the key,” he said. “Having all the coordination come to fruition was extremely rewarding for both the leadership at FLCY and boots on ground team in Townsville.”

By the time TS19 concluded, the FLCY team had moved a significant amount of material. In total, they coordinated the movement of 5,006 cargo items, 98,137 pounds of mail, 453 pallets of food and 312 pallets of retrograde material. If laid out horizontally, there was enough material to cover approximately two football fields, proving once more the importance of U.S. Navy logistics support efforts to forward deployed naval forces throughout the world.

NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka is one of eight FLCs under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.