During a noteworthy ceremony at HMAS Stirling on 1 July, formal command of the Fleet Logistic Support Element - Fleet Base West (FLSE-FBW) passed from Joint Logistics Unit - West (JLU-W) to Commander, Australian Submarine Forces.
The logistics team has been retitled ‘FLSE Subs’, to reflect their new role in providing a singular focus on first and second line support for the Submarine Force.
Officer in Charge FLSE Subs, Lieutenant Commander Steve Alchin, led the team in a march from JLU-W to Submarine Force Headquarters where they joined the larger submarine community.
“The change from JLU-W to the Submarine Force Headquarters was visually signified by the swapping of ball caps and patches to the black adornments worn by all submariners and direct support organisations,” said LCDR Alchin.
Representing one initiative of the Submarine Capability Improvement Project (SMCIP), this relocation coincides with the Fleet wide realignment of support to non-self accounting units that sees FLSE units Australia wide standardised in manning, roles and responsibilities.
“Each FLSE is now under the Operational Control of the relevant Force Commander with Technical Control vested within the Fleet Command Logistics Division,” said LCDR Alchin.
The SMCIP aims to improve the availability of submarines by streamlining Navy’s supply processes, implementing more efficient materials handling practices and reducing logistics delays at each handling point.
Future initiatives will see the commissioning of a Wharfside Distribution Point on Diamantina Wharf at Fleet Base West, and a totally redesigned warehouse layout within the FLSE Subs facility at Stirling.
“The FLSE Subs team will be progressively enhanced through the posting of Submarine Support Officers, qualified Maritime Logistics Officers (MLO) whom will effectively act as the submarine’s shore-based MLO,” LCDR Alchin said.
This initiative will be implemented in parallel with the ongoing trial to post similarly qualified MLOs to sea in submarines.
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