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Warehouse Vessel / DLA Afloat Distribution Center (DADC)

The Military Sealift Command (MSC) held a pre-market survey/pre-proposal [Presolicitation Notice Reference-Number-PreVH-08-05] meeting on 08 June 2005 to discuss an upcoming requirement for a "warehouse" vessel / afloat distribution center in support of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The "warehouse vessel" is envisioned as an afloat distribution center platform, capable of carrying containers, pallets and shelf stock items and distributing and regenerating items. The range of stock will be based on high demand items identified for use in early deployment of operating forces and for sustainment of forces in remote areas.

The activities on the platform will be receipt, stowage and issuance of these items, similar to shore-based DLA distribution centers (warehouses), though alternate methods of carrying and distribution will be considered for this survey. In performing this mission the contractor would provide a time-chartered vessel, and the Government will provide managed government or contractor personnel to operate the warehouse distribution functions. The ship will be located in overseas areas, stocked with required items and ready to transit on immediate orders to an area to provide stock support to deployed troops.

The DLA Afloat Distribution Center (DADC) provides a forward-positioned, self-contained, mobile capability to distribute materiel to support U.S. Military forces in a designated region across the range of military peacetime exercises and contingency operations. The Concept of Operations calls for designated ship(s) configured to distribute selected items within classes of supply (except fuel and ammo) to operational units; It would be DLA-managed and MSC operated. The loading and unloading would include pierside, lighterage, vertical replenishment (Helo) and Un/Rep capabilities, potential limited organic delivery (trucks). The ship may be berthed in an austere port or offshore. Transfer operations may be conducted by means of ramp to pier, Lo/Lo to pier or surface connectors and VERTREP.

Current Maritime Prepositioning Force ships maximize the available cargo storage onboard and have little ability to selectively offload supplies. Selective offload consists of the selective retrieval and delivery of supplies to forces ashore in palletized loads. This type of selective offload is associated with the sustainment of forces ashore. Combat Logistics Force ships such as the T-AKE Lewis and Clark are designed for selective offload. To make selective offload a reality, DADC requires lower stowage densities and new technologies to efficiently move items, especially for those supplies needed in direct support of forces ashore.

DLA is concentrating its efforts on reducing customer wait time (CWT) to support the warfighter and transforming its business processes through its Business Systems Modernization program. Reducing CWT involves such initiatives as forward stock positioning, establishment of the Deployment and Distribution Operations Center (DDOC) in the U.S. Central Command, and studying the creation of an afloat distribution center and a scalable, deployable Defense distribution depot capability.

The DLA Afloat Distribution Center [DADC] would be a DLA managed forward-positioned, self-contained, mobile capability. It would perfom basic distribution functions, including the receipt, store, and issue of various Classes of supply. It would support both peace and wartime operation. It would complement DLA's forward stocking and deployable distribution, with either pierside or at-sea transfer. DADC supports seabasing and power projection concepts in both developed and austere operational areas (e.g., ports, ship-to-ship, helo, JLOTS, etc.).

This forward-positioned, self-contained, mobile distribution capability would receipt, store and issue supplies tailored by DLA, COCOM and Services. It would support sustainment of U.S. Military forces across a range of contingency operations and exercises. More than a preposition ship, a container ship, and a combat stores ship, it would have characteristics of each. The desired end state would be a rapid, flexible, capability focused on sustaining the War-fighter around the world An Afloat Distribution Center would strengthen the supply chain by ensuring rapid and flexible material distribution tailorable to theater missions and requirements.

Designated ship(s) would be configured to distribute selected items within classes of supply (except fuel and ammo) to operational units. Loading and unloading could be pier side, via lighterage or vertical replenishment (Helo), with potential limited organic delivery (trucks). Basic distribution functions would include receipt, store & issue, with limited additional functions such as break-bulk. Multiple storage capabilities would including modular containers and pallets, down to bin-able items with issue from on-board stocks. This integrated capability complements DLA fixed based forward stocks & deployable distribution depot capabilities in peacetime and wartime. Contingency and exercise support provides immediate material backup in early deployment / sustainment, stocking critical, fast moving items.

Increased material readiness derives from quick-response sustainment backup support to services' prepositioned stocks and deployed units operating requirements. It reduces airlift costs of bulk items, such as construction supplies; subsistence, etc. It also reduces demand on airlifter-supply missions. The DADC minimizes the land-based logistics footprint. Worldwide distribution support capability is in addition to material support for contingencies and exercises. It supports sea-based power projection concepts in both developed and austere operational areas (e.g., ports, ship-to-ship, helo).

DLA Afloat Distribution Center will provide a mobiledistribution capability to the war fighter as well as the humanitarian requirements necessary to support relief efforts from natural disasters. The DLA Afloat Distribution Center is a set of capabilities that enhance DLA's mission performance, not necessarily a single large platform. Whatever DLA finally recommends needs to reflect the operational realities (including the humanitarian relief experienced with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) and the flexible response required in an increasingly complex world environment. A fiscally sound solution set of capabilities mustbe consistent with other Defense-wide initiatives that plan to use the sea as maneuver space.

US military logisticians are in the midst of a dual challenge: the development of a logistical system that can support a transforming military with increased operational freedom and a reduced logistics burden, while simultaneously supporting stability and reconstruction operations in the face of an adaptive asymmetrical opponent. The Defense Logistics Agency Transformation Roadmap was released in October 2005 to all employees. The roadmap outlines the 13 transformational programs and initiatives revolutionizing the way DLA conducts business.

Global Stock Positioning is a portfolio of capabilities designed to ensure the right inventory is at the right locations at the right time for the least cost. Materiel will be stocked in a minimum number of distribution centers; items with well defined patterns of demand will be located with their customers; and items with special handling requirements or less well-defined demand patterns will be stocked centrally. The underlying goal is to achieve an efficient system structure that is responsive to the customer and allows DOD to significantly reduce levels of inventory and costs of operations while still maintaining war fighter readiness. This global stock positioning strategy would place highly demanded supplies closer to overseas customers to reduce shipping costs and customer wait time. "Facing Fill" targets would be built into Business Systems Modernization business rules based on a Hub and Spoke methodology.




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