YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka (FLCY) Navy Reservists provided key logistics support to forward deployed naval forces during Keen Edge 2020, January 24-31.
Held biannually, Keen Edge is a joint command post exercise conducted to increase combat readiness and synchronization between U.S. Forces Japan and the Japan Joint Staff and prepare them to effectively defend Japan or respond to a regional crisis.
Cmdr. Jonathan Markrich, operational support officer for FLCY, said his goal was to provide the right Reservist at the right time.
“Keen Edge was a great example of how our FLCY Reserve detachments located in St. Louis, Phoenix and El Paso successfully integrated with their active component counterparts,” said Markrich. “This was vital and empowered commanders throughout the region with critical information requirements that ensured the success of the exercise.”
During Keen Edge, Navy Reservists from FLCY provided 24-hour watch-standing for the Regional Operations Center, assisting Commander, Naval Forces Japan and Commander, Navy Region Japan in maintaining the theater logistics picture.
Cmdr. Pete Boll, acting commanding officer for the Navy Reserve element at FLCY, reiterated the critical role Reservists played during Keen Edge.
“We are very proud of the support Reservists provide to our command and to exercises such as Keen Edge. Our Reservists are well-trained, highly-skilled professionals who bring a wealth of civilian work experience to their Navy Reserve jobs,” said Boll. “Their knowledge and experience provide a unique perspective and added benefit to the active duty mission. That really is the super-power of the Navy Reserve force.”
Missions were executed throughout Keen Edge that highlighted the depth of the Navy Reserve Force support across the region. Reserve Sailors from detachments in St. Louis, Missouri, El Paso, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona supported fuel operations, air cargo handling and regional exercise services for commands spread across Japan.
More than 60 Navy Reservists provide consistent, year-round operational support to the Western Pacific region’s largest U.S. Navy logistics command. There are more than 20 FLCY detachments, sites and fuel terminals that span one of the Navy’s largest areas of responsibly— from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia, Guam and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, covering more than 50 million square miles.
Headquartered in Yokosuka, FLCY provides bulk fuel and fuel support services to U.S. 7th Fleet, Military Sealift Command and all U.S. military bases within the Indo-Pacific area of operations. Because of the dynamic nature of fuel missions, combined with some of the manning challenges, Navy Reservists who have logistics expertise play an integral role for contingency operations.
Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Jesus Reynaud recently completed his on-the-job training at the Defense Fuel Support Point located in Hakozaki, Japan, qualifying as a fuel department duty officer.
“It’s been great opportunity to get hands-on experience developing skills typically beyond the logistics specialist rate,” said Reynaud. “It has helped me become a more well-rounded Sailor.”
Reynaud plans to return to Hakozaki later in the year to complete his qualification as a tanker watch officer. It is a rigorous qualification that typically takes two to three months for an active duty Sailor to finish but adds incredible operational flexibility to the command.
Leading Chief Petty Officer Tansy Rodriguez, chief aviation boatswain’s mate for fuels, described the benefits of having Reserve Sailors support the exercise.
“There’s a huge benefit having logistics specialists doing fuel work,” said Rodriguez. “Contracted civilian employees perform most of the day-to-day operations, but logistics specialists are extremely knowledgeable and can fulfill fuel missions during a contingency.”
During Keen Edge 2020, the Navy Overseas Air Cargo Terminal (NOACT), located at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan provided critical high-priority logistics support to operational elements throughout Japan and the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation. The FLCY NOACT team is responsible for moving all classes of supply besides fuel, including hazardous material, munitions, refrigerated cargo and critical repair parts from air to ground transportation.
Working in partnership with the U. S. Air Force 730th Air Mobility Squadron, the FLCY Reserve Force helped maintain surge capacity during Keen Edge.
Sajid Cabebe, the NOACT chief petty officer in charge, said the Reservists provided exceptional support during the exercise.
“The Reservists we had on our team provided new ideas with different perspectives, which is especially important when operating forward. They brought their industry experience to the deck plate and provided vital support to the team,” said Cabebe. “Keen Edge enabled them to leverage their civilian experience in dynamics ways, while supporting FLCY’s important mission to our forward deployed naval forces throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
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.