USN Supply Chief: Military Can’t Lose ‘Crown Jewels’ to Industry

April 9, 2013 10:23 AM
Rear Adm. Mark F. Heinrich, commander, of Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers, address members of the Naval Air Station North Island in 2011. US Navy Photo
Rear Adm. Mark F. Heinrich, commander, of Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers, address members of the Naval Air Station North Island in 2011. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s top supply officer told attendees at a special symposium on warfighter resilience and logistics, “You can’t make a tough decision if you don’t know the parameters of the problem” in a weapon system because the service no longer is engaged in its manufacture or its sustainability.

Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich, chief of the Supply Corps, speaking to the Navy League Sea Air Space Exposition 2013 at National Harbor, Md., on Monday, warned against losing the service’s “crown jewels” to industry. “What are the crown jewels”—those capabilities that are inherently military? “Some crown jewels have to be resident in the Navy.” He added, “We believe you don’t have to own it to control it.”

Juliane Praiss, Boeing Company vice president responsible for logistics, said a dialogue needed to be maintained so the services understand what “we do that can bring value” to their missions.
Some public-private partnerships, such as those in housing, have proved extremely effective and beneficial to service members and their families, Vice Adm. William French, commander Navy Installations Command, said.

Equally important, said Lt. Gen. William Faulkner, Marine Corps deputy commandant for installations and logistics, was for the services “to make sure we learned the right lessons” from 12 years of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq—not lessons that will not be applicable to the present and future in Asia and the Pacific.
“We’ve got to take best practices from everywhere,” Adm. French said.

Vice Adm. Philip Cullom, deputy chief of naval operations for Fleet readiness and logistics, said that by adopting those best practices, logisticians’ roles are really about combat capabilities that “you’re giving back to the warfighter. That’s the real reason we are looking at energy efficiency” and other areas, such as systems integration.

Picking up on that, Brad Bateman, vice president and general manager of federal solutions at Johnson Controls, said, “Energy security is not about lights anymore.” It is about “being able to attack the infrastructure with the installation” to make them more reliable and cost effective
“We need what we need to be efficient and effective. Sometimes we forget our roots” in addressing current problems, Rear Adm. Heinrich said.

The Marine Corps’ Faulkner added: “You need to hold people accountable” for meeting goals with understandable metrics of performance in areas as different as energy savings and supply-chain delivery.
On the civilian side, Boeing’s Praiss said that industry “must earn the right to partner” with the services to meet their missions. “Resiliency,” Heinrich said, “comes through teamwork and collaboration” in and out of uniform and “fighting while you’re hurt” as ships did in coming to the aid of the USS Cole (DDG-67) when it was attacked in Aden.

John Grady

John Grady

John Grady, a former managing editor of Navy Times, retired as director of communications for the Association of the United States Army. His reporting on national defense and national security has appeared on Breaking Defense,,,, Government Executive and USNI News.

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