When the annual award for Supply Chain Excellence in Supply Chain Operations and Management was handed out at the recent Supply Chain World Conference and Exposition in California, it wasn't the contingent from Wal-Mart or even Dell that strode up to the podium. This year's honoree was the U.S. Marine Corps' 1st Force Service Support Group.
Presented by former DC VELOCITY "Rainmaker" Alan Estevez, assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for supply chain integration, the award recognized the unit for its supply chain efforts in Iraq from February 2004 through February 2005. Receiving specific mention was the unit's progress toward correcting deficiencies in its supply chain identified during the 2003 Baghdad invasion. Those deficiencies made it difficult for troops on the frontlines to order, track and receive the gear they needed.
Based at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, between the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah and the restive city of Ramadi, the unit serves as a supply center for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and its 30,000 Marines. As part of an operation that's comparable in scale to a Wal-Mart distribution center, the unit orders, processes and ships everything from food and weapons to paper clips and staples, and maintains more than $100 million of inventory on the lot.
Maj. Gen. Richard Kramlich, the commanding general of the 1st FSSG, and approximately 40 Marines assigned to the unit attended the awards ceremony. They received a standing ovation upon receipt of the award from a predominantly civilian audience.