Off-ship bill pay takes big step forward in US 7th Fleet
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka Contracting Department personnel issued two significant contract modifications July 30 and 31, against existing husbanding service provider (HSP) contracts for WESTPAC Region 3 and 4, taking a big step forward in support of the Secretary of the Navy's (SECNAV) initiative to pay HSPs by using a new process called off-ship bill pay (OSBP), which will be implemented fleet wide beginning Oct. 1.
Husbanding services such as water, food, electricity, phone lines and transportation are provided by HSPs to U.S. Navy vessels visiting non-U.S. Navy ports across the Asia-Pacific region.
In the past a ship's supply officer was solely responsible to act as the ordering officer and work with the HSP to get these needed services but with OSBP NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka contracting officers will now be in place to support all U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships as well as Military Sealift Command and U.S. Army vessels that are operating in the Far East, which will lessen the financial management burden for the afloat community.
"All payment and invoicing will be issued and tracked electronically," said Christina Beal, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, contracting officer. "The new OSBP process will provide additional checks and balances to ensure all billing information is correct and that the U.S. Navy is receiving the services which were ordered."
Beal added that the new process also establishes additional oversight as it creates more separation of function between the different duties of ordering, receiving and issuing payment.
Additionally, the location of a visiting ship determines which HSP is used.
"The husbanding contracts are currently divided into four geographical regions throughout this AOR," said Beal.
The Region 4 contract modification, which was signed on July 30, encompasses all major ports throughout Japan, South Korea and East Russia and is operated by Daekee Global.
The Region 3 contract modification, which was signed on July 31, encompasses all major ports throughout Australia and the Pacific Islands including Fiji, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Solomon Islands and is operated by Toll Remote Logistics.
"We are delighted to be part of the changes," said Elle Hilton, Toll Remote Logistics, general manager. "We look forward to contributing to the innovative culture in contracting."
Hilton added that she thinks the OSBP is a really positive move and hopes to continue her company's relationship with the U.S. Navy.
Given the large dollar amounts of these contracts (Region 3 and 4 contracts are valued at $20 million and $40 million respectively) and the importance of the U.S. 7th Fleet mission of keeping a strategic forward presence in the region, the support provided by NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka is immeasurable.
"It is widely acknowledged that the complexity of support in this AOR exceeds others given the vast number of ports, many of which are in austere and less developed countries," said U.S. Navy Capt. Burt Heck, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, contracting department director. "Part of what makes NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka's support in this dynamic environment unique is the amount of boots on ground support that we provide."
This is evidenced by the vast number of deployments by Heck's contracting team.
"We very often send KO's (contracting officers) to support large ship and hi-complexity port visits," he said. "In addition, we deploy this same KO workforce to support the many exercise port visit events throughout the year."
Heck added that just through June of this year alone, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka's contracting team has supported 339 port visits as well as exercises Talisman Saber, Pacific Partnership and CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training) resulting in 24 individual deployments for a total of 462 man-days.
"We are on pace to greatly exceed last year's total business," said Heck.
As the deployments, exercises and all port visits continue in support of the U.S. Navy mission in the region, Heck and team will lead from the front providing ships the contracting support they need to get the job done.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), is the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, headquartered just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the enterprise networks more than 20 sites and fuel terminals from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam with a mission to serve the Asia Pacific Region's forward deployed maritime Warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver contracting, fuel, material, mail and supply chain services across the U.S. Navy's largest geographical area of responsibility.
For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsup/.