Commander, Logistics Forces (COMLOGFORNAVCENT)
Commander, Task Force 53 (CTF-53)
Supplying a fleet of 20-plus ships serving forward deployed over 7,000 miles from the U.S. is a tremendous challenge. The main effort is coordinated by Commander, Task Force Five Three. The supply challenge includes moving people ashore and afloat, delivering parts, transferring fuel and ammunition, moving the mail, and stocking the fleet to feed three meals a day to over 15,000 people. CTF 53 receives all logistics inputs and requirements for the entire Middle Eastern region. Once consolidated, they task the Naval Air Logistics Coordination Center (NALCC) with ensuring execution of these missions. NALCC, a division under the Air Operations department, is administratively assigned to Commanding Officer, NSA Bahrain and operationally assigned to CTF 53.
COMLOGFORNAVCENT is the single focal point for operational logistics in support of naval forces operating within the U. S. Central Command. COMLOGFORNAVCENT is an Echelon III command reporting directly to COMUSNAVCENT and is assigned duties as Commander Task Force Five Three (CTF 53) within the COMUSNAVCENT Task Force organization.
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet (COMUSNAVCENT N4) and Commander, Logistics Forces and Commander, Task Force 53 (COMLOGFORNAVCENT/CTF-53) is headquartered in Manama, Bahrain. CTF-53 re-located their operation to a new facility at the Bahrain International Airport in November 2001. Commander Service Force U. S. Naval Forces Central Command (COMSERVFORNAVCENT) is responsible for scheduling of maintenance and utilization of maintenance assets in the USNAVCENTCOM AOR. COMSERVFORNAVCENT has one other hat, CTF 53, the force Logistics Commander for COMUSNAVCENT.
A full time T-AFS (or AFS), T-AO, and T-ATF are assigned. Additional support comes with the carrier battlegroup in the form of an additional oiler and ammunition ship which chop to CTF-53 on arrival. If an AOE accompanies the CVBG, there will not be an additional AE/T-AE. In the later case, operational flexibility for CTF-53 and the supported battle group is significantly reduced by the fewer number of platforms available to conduct mini-multi operations (stores delivery from vans) or to perform as auxiliary oilers (AFS/T-AFS and AE/T-AE have DFM deliver capability) for small combatants. The AFS/T-AFS, ammunition ship and AOE/AOE have embarked H-46 aircraft. The "Armilla Patrol" British RFA oiler is also integrated into the navcent logistics schedule on a not to interfer basis with their national taskings. On occasion a French oiler can provide services, but usually only in the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden area. A tender is normally available about half of the year for tender abailabilities. Fly away teams from SIXTHFLT or SEVENTHFLT deployed tenders are available for CASREP repairs year round.
CLF ships are the key to NAVCENT's plan to sustain forces at sea. The emphasis is on replenishment at sea vice replenishment inport. Keeping the "shooters" at sea performing their missions is the CLF mission. Practicing this element of sustainability through routine peace time replenishment at sea maintains this capability. CTF-53 writes the monthly replenishment schedule to maximize UNREPS and minimize INREPS and bunkering. Additionally, it is NAVCENT's intention that each ship with connected replenishment (CONREP) capability conduct CONREP operations for stores at least twice during a four month deployment to the Gulf. Over-reliance on VERTREP atrophies CONREP capability and ignores the aging CH-46 fleet which is older than it's aircrews. Bi-weekly AFS service is the goal for NAVCENT deployed forces. It is paramount to sustainability that each ship top-off stores during each AFS event. In any event, CTF-53 will ensure that each ship receives AFS services not less than every 30 days - a stores replenishment frequency which has sustained Mediterranean deployed forces for decades.
Theater air cargo scheduling priorities are set by Operations in CTF-53, and the actual clearances and scheduling are obtained and written by the Naval Air Logistics Control Center (NALCC). Both offices are located at the Auxiliary Support Unit (ASU), Bahrain. Many of the inputs to CTF-53 come from the Air Terminal Operations Center (ATOC), which is in a hangar at the Bahrain airport.
Pax/mail/cargo (PMC) are coordinated separately from most replenishment events. The C-2 flies to the carrier every day. This is the best way to move PMC to those ships operating in company with or in the vicinity of the carrier. CLF shuttle is the next best way. Normally the CLF ship can close near Bahrain to facilitate Desert Duck (or CH-53) transfer of PMC to the CLF ship for delivery incident to replenishment or other mutual operations. Usually, PMC delivered to the CLF ship one day will be delivered to the customer ship the next. Finally, when no other course is available, the Desert Ducks (H-3's) may be launched to deliver PMC to individual customer ships. Since this is often done at extreme ranges, payloads are limited and an intermediate stop is normally required. The receiving ship must also be ready to refuel the helo while on deck (or HIFR for non-landing certified ships). The CTF-53 staff meets daily to plan PMC movement.
Commander, Logistics Forces, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / Task Force Five Three established Navy's first world wide transportation home base experiment. Consolidated elements of logistics included: cargo handling facility consolidation (reducing manpower by 82%), combat logistics force and ordnance, hazardous waste disposal and recycling, and ground support equipment. The team first tracked each node in the delivery flow chart, then eliminated duplication and collocated assets. Transferable logistics lessons were learned through the team's realignment of tasks among ships and shore support points, in support of maritime interception operations.
COMLOGFORNAVCENT/CTF-53 functions involve the expeditious movement, sorting and dispatching of all classes of United States Postal Service (USPS)/Military Mail. The Fleet Mail Center (FMC) operates 24 hours, 7 days per week. The FMC is located at the Aviation Unit of the Bahrain International Airport.
The deployment of NAVELSF personnel to support COMUSNAVCENT and CTF-53 represents an ideal mission for the organization. The units are able to perform work that relates directly to their wartime mission in a true expeditionary environment. COMUSNAVCENT and CTF 53, in turn, reap the benefits of having well-trained and highly qualified Reservists as part of their team on a year-round basis. NAVELSF units provided those activities over 3,300 man-days of support in fiscal year 1999 in a number or critical fleet logistics roles. Ten different NAVELSF units deployed personnel to Bahrain, providing an average of seven personnel for each two-week period throughout the year.
With 12 Navy Cargo Handling Battalions, two Supply Support Battalions and a total of 3,200 Naval Reserve personnel, the Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Force (NAVELSF) represents over 90 percent of the Navy's overseas shore-based supply and transportation capability. During peacetime, NAVELSF provides operational and exercise logistics support to a wide range of customers around the globe. Many of those customers have come to rely on NAVELSF manpower and expertise on an ongoing basis to assist with their day-to-day operations.
- CTF 53 Expediting Section. Tracked and expedited CASREP requisitions and assisted with the preparation of the Consolidated Aircraft Material Status Report, which included the status of NMCS/PMCS requisitions for aviation units.
- BANZ Warehouse. Supply Support Battalions and Freight Terminal Companies performed inventories, processed receipts, and tracked incoming material for further transfer to afloat operational units.
- AVUNIT (air terminal). Processed mail, cargo and customers arriving from CONUS and other locations. NAVELSF Air Cargo Companies loaded and unloaded Navy organic aircraft. They also provided assistance with flight status boards and load planning, as well as limited assistance with RCAPS documentation.
- COMUSNAV-CENTCOM5FLT N4 Headquarters Support. NAVELSF personnel assisted with daily fleet material readiness reports and responses on all ships operating in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean.
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