By Lt. Matthew Lorge and Carole Stringfield, NAVSUP FLC Bahrain Navy Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Bahrain
MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Contracts have been set, tests completed and, as of Oct. 1, Off-Ship Bill Pay (OSBP) has commenced at Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Bahrain.
Starting at the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year, NAVSUP FLC Bahrain and its fleet customer, U.S. Naval Central Forces Command (NAVCENT) implemented new OSBP procedures to enable a more efficient means of ordering and paying for husbanding services for ships operating in the NAVCENT area of responsibility (AOR).
When ships pull into port, they require several different husbanding services from sewage removal to acquiring fresh water. By transferring the responsibility of reviewing, validating and submitting for electronic payment to the shore command, the process provides a means for Navy leadership oversight for the husbanding process and also allows ship personnel more freedom to focus their efforts on other tasks.
"The new process will make things easier for the ships both before and after the port visit," said Rear. Adm. James McNeal, commander, NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS). "Ships' crews will no longer order directly from husbanding service providers or pay for services prior to departure from port. These responsibilities will shift ashore and allow the crew to focus on conducting operations."
NAVSUP FLC Bahrain contracting office originally authored the new procedures in May 2015 and has been reviewing the process, training contracting officer representatives (CORs), and testing out the procedures to ensure a smooth transition over the past several months.
According to Cmdr. Romeo Bautista, husbanding service provider (HSP) COR team lead at NAVCENT, his team is working in tandem with the NAVSUP FLC Bahrain contracting office and Logistics Support Center to provide the "single belly button" to the fleet for port visit contractor management and to ensure the successful implementation of OSBP.
Prior to the new OSBP initiatives, ships had to submit a DD Form 1155 or 'Order for Supply or Services' to the husbanding service provider to order required services. Then, after the port visit, they would have to finalize this document and make payment to the vendor using a U.S. Treasury check. Under the new process, these steps are no longer the responsibility of the Supply department on the ship.
Now, through OSBP, the ship and vendor are able to submit final invoices into an electronic program referred to as "iRAPT" short for 'Inventory, Receipt, Acceptance and Property Transfer.' In this system, invoices are reviewed and validated by CORs and submitted for electronic payment.
"Off Ship Bill Pay is a tremendous leap forward in how the Navy executes port visits. Ships' force personnel can focus on receipt inspection and documentation--arguably one of the most critical aspects of the entire process," said Sean M. Egge, commanding officer, NAVSUP FLC Bahrain. "And the contracting officer representatives' three-way match ensures rock solid accountability by validating order, receipt and bill against each other."
"The ships operating in the NAVCENT AOR face numerous challenges due to the high operational tempo," Bautista said. "Off-Ship Bill Pay will alleviate some of the burden from ships' crew. The HSP COR and NAVSUP FLC Bahrain will ensure that the ships can take advantage of the new process through aggressive pier side support and targeted training."
OSBP also streamlines cooperative efforts between NAVCENT and NAVSUP FLC Bahrain in providing the support in husbanding services to the ships. The COR from NAVCENT work with the contracting office at NAVSUP FLC Bahrain to ensure the prompt, efficient review and execution of the contracts and services.
"This is a complex program to implement and the collaboration between NAVSUP FLC Bahrain and NAVCENT/5th Fleet has been superb," said Egge.
NAVSUP FLC Bahrain has more than 160 military and civilian personnel providing logistics support in the NAVCENT AOR. The command is one of eight fleet logistics centers worldwide in the NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS) enterprise. NAVSUP GLS provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of more than 6,500 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.