NAVSUP WSS hosted Rear Adm. Michelle C. Skubic, commander, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and Chief of the U.S. Navy Supply Corps, in Philadelphia, Feb. 21, for a leadership town hall and ribbon cutting ceremony for a newly developed Integrated Weapon Systems Team (IWST).
During the town hall, Skubic met with civilian and military leadership to discuss the importance of building and maintaining relationships with integral customers, stakeholders and partners in order to ensure superior fleet support.
Following the town hall, Skubic was given a comprehensive brief from both the Aviation and Maritime Unmanned Systems IWSTs. The teams presented the current platforms they are supporting along with an overview of the current landscapes. The discussion included preparation for future platforms and new systems such as the Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (SMCM UUV) Knifefish and the Mine Counter Measure Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV).
The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) IWST, led by Lt. Cmdr. Noël Koenig, was highlighted during this visit. UAS was previously a part of the common systems department and with the expansion of the program, has now branched off to form a new department that supports five specific systems, which include the MQ-8B Fire Scout, MQ-8C Fire Scout, RQ-21A Blackjack, MQ-4C Triton and MQ-25A Stingray.
Koenig described the UAS IWST’s mission as being responsible for supply chain management of the five largest United States Navy and Marine Corps UAS platforms.
“We are the Navy’s leaders for unmanned support,” Koenig said. “Composed of air vehicles, control stations and data links, they can be found everywhere from the largest surface combatants to the smallest littoral ships conducting reconnaissance.”
The Unmanned Maritime and Small Combatant (UM&SC) IWST is responsible for supporting the Maritime Unmanned Platforms, Sensors and Weapon Systems that are in the Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) portfolio.
Lt. Adam Pace, director of the UM&SC IWST, explained that the mission is to support the Unmanned Underwater and Surface Vehicles, which he said is the future of the Navy. Pace explained the command will continue to work with PEO USC to ensure NAVSUP WSS is organizationally aligned and postured to support unmanned systems prior to and after the Material Support Date for efficient sustainment to maintain mission readiness.
“The UM&SC Integrated Weapon Systems Team is transitioning to support more platforms and should align with the largest Hardware Systems Command stakeholder in order to ensure the success of this transition and support of these technologies,” said Pace.
NAVSUP WSS personnel in Mechanicsburg and Philadelphia will continue to collaborate for the development of the MQ-8 Fire Scout and Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis, a camera system used on the MQ-8 Fire Scout and LCS Mission Modules.
To conclude the visit, Skubic and others cut a ceremonial ribbon to inaugurate the standup of the new UAS IWST. After the ribbon cutting, Skubic recognized the 13 member UAS team for all of their contributions to the NAVSUP WSS mission of keeping Navy forces mission ready and told them, “This is not going to be a one-and-done effort, but something that will continue the perseverance over decades of supporting the lethality of our nation.”