It’s an oft-quoted military maxim that amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics. It’s also true that the pressures of combat tend to reveal areas where internal and external politics and decisions have hurt a military, leading to a more serious emphasis on getting key decisions and processes right.
The UK MoD recently released “Getting the right kit to the right place and on time,” which discusses improvements made in fielding the right equipment to the front lines. The article is full of the expected praise for the MoD’s successes in this area, and mentions some pieces of equipment that the MoD believes are performing particularly well. There’s also a section at the end that offers some quick excerpts from the logistics efforts and amounts involved in supporting 6 months of Britain’s operations in Afghanistan.
Aug 11/08: The Watts-Healy Tibbitts joint venture in Honolulu, HI receives an initial $42.4 million increment to build a drive-in magnetic silencing facility at Beckoning Point, Naval Station Pearl Harbor. The 2nd increment will be funded in FY 2009 at $35.9 million, and the 3rd increment will be funded in 2010 at $6.6 million to finish the $84.8 million contract. The contract also contains an unexercised option, which would increase the cumulative contract value to $86.1 million.
The reason behind these expensive facilities is simple. Any mass of iron stressed in the earth’s magnetic field becomes a magnet. Riveting and other construction activities magnetize a ship, as do some operational activities. That magnetization then changes gradually when the ship is underway, depending on its heading and location. A magnetized object can be detected, of course, and magnetic field changes can also be used as a trigger for weapons like mines and homing torpedoes. Magnetic Silencing Facilities provide deperming/ degaussing, which reduces the ship’s electromagnetic signature to a point that’s much closer to the earth’s natural level. Cryptome has a partial list of American MSFs, including some photos and links.
Work will be performed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and is expected to be complete by October 2010. This contract was competitively procured, with 41 offers solicited and 4 proposals received by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific in Pearl Harbor, HI (N62742-08-C-1311).
Small business qualifier Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad Co. in Elma, WA received a $12.6 million modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed price contract (N44255-01-C-1002, #P00022) for railroad repairs at Navy Region Northwest, West Sound area. The railroad will be responsible for all elements of those repairs, which raises the current total contract value to $16.3 million. Work will be performed on the Bangor-Shelton-Bremerton Navy Railroad, and is expected to be complete by Septeber 2009. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, in Silverdale, WA manages the contract.
These facilities are linked to Naval Base Kitsap in Washington State. Kitsap is the largest naval organization in Navy Region Northwest, comprising facilities in Bremerton, Bangor and Keyport. Kitsap NB is primarily a submarine base, hosting many SSN Los Angeles Class attack subs and SSBN Trident missile subs, plus the USA’s 3 ultra-advanced SSN-21 Seawolf Class submarines and the Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier CVN 74 USS John C. Stennis.