Vanguard Magazine

Aug/Sept 2014

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 47

I In-SerVICe SUPPORT 28 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 i n an effort to improve in-service sup- port for Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ships, submarines and equipment, the Department of National Defence (DND) is moving toward more strategic partnerships with industry to develop and expand Canadian industrial expertise in naval maintenance. In-service support, or ISS, entails ac- tivities such as engineering modifi cation, obsolescence management, maintenance, repair, testing, upgrades, supply or sourc- ing of spare parts, documentation, and training. Strategic partnerships, as part of ISS, are optimal to prepare for the future naval fl eet. DND has established a Future ISS (FISS) project to formally assist the navy's transition from its current way of provid- ing ISS to how it will support the fl eet of 2018 and beyond. The goal is to defi ne and establish a comprehensive naval mate- riel FISS system. Alanna Jorgensen is a champion of the project. As the Director of Maritime Equipment Program Management, Minor War Vessels and Auxiliaries, Jorgensen is providing senior direction to the manage- ment of the FISS project. She will lead the process with the help of a core team to de- velop and implement the FISS system. "We are trying to evolve. We want all stakeholders to care about the eventual outcome – having capable and safe ships delivered to the RCN – not just focusing on the current contract," she says. In other words, the aim is to have a predictable and collaborative partnership that moves beyond iterative conventional contracts, providing steady workfl ow, in- creased effi ciencies, and expertise among contractors. A recent example, the long- term submarine contract, highlights the benefi ts – long-term work for Canadian companies and jobs for Canadians. "Until recently we have focused on the contract outputs, but now we are moving beyond just doing business with a contrac- tor," Jorgensen notes. "We are working toward a more stable approach, with in- dustry having a vested interest in the long term and, therefore, exhibiting preventive behaviour. In turn, this strengthens indus- try's scope and ability to plan, and boosts local economic benefi ts." The DpS impetus A key facilitating factor for ISS is that DND and the Canadian Armed Forces are in the midst of improving business pro- cesses and maximizing operational capabil- ity and readiness. Central to the Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS), announced in February 2014, is the acquisition of the right equip- ment and support, at the right time, with the right benefi ts to industry. More specifi - cally, the DPS' three key objectives include: delivering the right equipment to the CAF in a timely manner; leveraging purchases of defence equipment to create jobs and economic growth in Canada; and stream- lining defence procurement processes. The strategy responds to the increase in maintenance demands as existing fl eets age and new fl eets become more technologi- cally advanced. Also, fl eet readiness must meet operational demands in an evolving security environment. These trends are ex- pected to continue as fl eets are delivered in the coming years, strengthening the case for strategic, long-term industry partner- ships in naval ISS. To expedite those partnerships, the gov- ernment must study and align various pro- cesses; address defi ciencies; and leverage the experience of peer organizations. In the case of the RCN, peers include the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence and Aus- tralia's Defence Materiel Organisation, which has similarly had to evolve naval ISS in response to government policy and re- source constraints. To date, one of the most valuable lessons learned – and one which Jorgensen under- scores – is that materiel ISS functions as a system. Therefore, any changes to the sys- tem can have signifi cant knock-on effects. An example sometimes experienced by al- lied navies is an increased reliance on con- tractors for ship maintenance, which can diminish crew's experience and capability, limiting their ability to respond to system failures and maintain operational capabil- ity, particularly when deployed. Therefore, a balance has to be struck between the roles and responsibilities of crews and contrac- tors within the ISS system to ensure overall objectives are met. "There are different roles and relation- ships within the fl eet and one size does not fi t all," says Jorgensen. "Therefore, the ISS system of the future has to be fl exible enough to deal with the differences, and we need to take a systematic approach to en- sure success." FISS will be implemented in four phases: Problem Defi nition (October 2014); De- sign (April 2015); System Element Detailed Design (April 2016) and Implementation (commencing in 2016). For now, Jorgensen says the next steps in- volve using a holistic approach to identify and defi ne the challenges, assess the avail- able options, develop and design effi cien- cies, and implement the FISS system. Or, as she summarizes it, "We're in the get-smart phase, to be followed by the think-smart and the do-smart phases." Elizabeth Smith is a communications contractor with National Defence supporting ADM (Materiel). by elizabeth Smith building long-term strategic partnerships HMCS Glace Bay. Photo: Jacek Szymanski

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Vanguard Magazine - Aug/Sept 2014