Advocacy Board looks to streamline CSSE support

11 Dec 2001 | Cpl. Allan J. Grdovich

In efforts to streamline productivity, approximately 30 high-ranking Marine and Navy officers gathered recently in Virginia to discuss modernizing the Corps' logistics and supply fields.

The groups, dubbed the Combat Service Support Element Advocacy Board, assembled with a mission to modify the way things have been traditionally done in the Corps' supply and maintenance Military Occupational Specialties.

"The way we have been doing things is old," said Chief Warrant Officer David Schmink, maintenance management officer for 2d Maintenance Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group. As a result, the Marines of 2d FSSG received the blessing of Lt. Gen. Gary S. McKissock, deputy commandant, installations and logistics, to test the Integrated Logistics Capabilities concept.

The ILC in short, is a proof of concept, said Bravo Company, 2d Maintenance Battalion Commanding Officer, Capt. Peter W. McDaniel. "It gives (supply and maintenance Marines) the latitude to change by adapting and improvising," he said.

For example, one of the big changes that have taken place due to the newly implemented ILC was the merger of all the mechanics within 2d FSSG into Maintenance Bn., said McDaniel.

Also, along with the merger, Marines are now able to be more proficient with their acquired work skills, said Schmink. "Before, things were a little complicated to get the job done quickly. For instance, if there were two mechanics, both equally qualified, working on a Humvee that needed a starter and a head gasket fixed, according to proper procedure, most of the time the Marine fixing the starter would not be allowed to fix both starter and head gasket, because his job only required him to fix starters only," said Schmink. Since the revisions, a Marine who is qualified to fix what needs to be repaired may proceed to without process-slowing technicalities, he said.

The Corps is also looking to minimize the amount of paperwork needed to purchase parts by computerizing orders with specially tailored programs, said Schmink.

"This is not a new idea but with the ILC, we are trying to make it more mainstream," the Anderson, Ind. native added about the use of implementing computer programs within the MOS.

Currently, the ILC is still only a test, said McDaniel. Commanders will bring to a close the 18-month trail by suggesting changes to their superiors October 2003.

"We have many positive changes occurring within in the FSSG right now. However, until our changes will be able to support that (infantryman) in the field, it is still just a test."