By James Marconi
MSC Public Affairs
|Vice Adm. Philip Cullom, deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, presents MSCís Mike Robinson with the Navyís most prestigious award for logistics excellence.|
U.S. Navy photo by Barry Lake
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, Vice Adm. Philip Cullom, presented Mike Robinson, Military Sealift Command, with the Navy's most prestigious award for logisticians during a June 7 ceremony.
Robinson, MSC's Combat Logistics Force load management division director, received the Admiral Stanley R. Arthur Award for Logistics Excellence as 2011 Civilian Logistician of the Year. The award is one of three given annually for outstanding performance in Navy logistics.
The award, presented at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., recognizes both military and civilian personnel who "have illustrated innovative methods and logistics professionalism that establish a benchmark or model by which to measure the accomplishments of logisticians throughout the Navy," according to a 2007 CNO instruction.
Robinson's logistics contributions are significant, as he spearheaded the development of MSC's new cargo load management system. The command's 30 Combat Logistics Force ships are the logistics backbone of Navy operations at sea, providing the fuel, food and ammunition to keep these combatant ships operating forward.
Thanks to the new cargo load management system, ship inventories worldwide can now be monitored from six global, centralized locations ashore. Latest state-of-the-art computer technology enables both seagoing personnel and a shore-based management team to see accurate, up-to-date inventories. As a result, combatant commanders can better direct supply-laden CLF ships to provide the necessary underway replenishments.
"We basically have taken a program that was just an idea in October 2007, and since that time we've established an entire network," Robinson said.
Smoothly implementing the new system, which encompasses new personnel in six shoreside locations, in addition to adding technological upgrades to the CLF ships, represented a challenge to Robinson and his team. In the upcoming year, they aim to develop a robust metrics package that will more accurately measure the system's increased efficiency. One of the most important measures of success to date; however, is that the entire transition was an "invisible process," Robinson said. Navy customers at sea continued to receive supplies on schedule, with no interruptions in service.
"The new business model is quite revolutionary for naval logistics support as it enables us to operate in a standardized and synchronized global support network making sustainment of deployed forces by CLF ships adaptive, responsive and cost efficient," said Pete Budi, director of MSC's logistics directorate. "We are all extremely proud of Mike's accomplishment and his ability to deliver on a very difficult and challenging initiative. He is truly an exceptional leader."
The last two CLF ships are scheduled to receive a software upgrade, called the Shipboard Load Management Module, by mid-July. The upgrade allows ships to transmit cargo inventory data in real time to centralized management locations ashore.
By October, additional civilian billets for shoreside locations in Norfolk, Va., and San Diego will be fully staffed, supporting the Combat Logistics Officers currently managing the new systems.
"Even though this is an individual award, it really represents the efforts of a very large team," Robinson said. "It's a significant recognition for an achievement that was pretty significant as well."
Robinson, a former Supply Corps officer who retired as a captain after 27 years on active duty, joined MSC in 2009 and assumed his current position in 2010.