In the first overtime game in 123 matchups, Navy Midshipmen running back Anton Hall, Jr. rushed up the middle with his sights on the endzone for a Midshipmen lead and potential win. Army defensive lineman Austin Hill had other ideas, forcing a fumble that the Black Knights would go on to recover, eventually kicking the game winning field goal. 

Every year, Army and Navy face off in a fiercely contested college football battle, vying to be the team to lift the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. It’s a tradition that has persisted since 1890, and will likely persist for centuries to come. It’s amazing to see, then, such violent opponents on the field support one another in every other facet of operation. The way our Navy supports the U.S. Army— and vice versa– can be witnessed throughout history, during combat, and in modern logistics, such as Army and Navy supply chains.

Greenwood Aerospace understands the necessity of supporting operations through well-managed supply chains. Our 41 years of experience supporting all branches of the U.S. military—along with some of the largest defense contractors in the country—have enabled us to provide top-notch logistics and supply chain support. Our expert services include:

In this article, we answer the question: What does the Navy supply chain have to do with aerospace logistics? We cover:

  • What differentiates the various supply chains
  • The current status of military supply chain
  • How the U.S. Navy supply chain impacts aerospace logistics
  • What Greenwood Aerospace offers for your supply chain concerns

Read on below to discover how the Navy supply chain assists and impacts aerospace operations, along with other military supply chains.

Exploring the Differences Between the Various Supply Chains

Before diving into the specifics of the government supply chain, it’s essential to understand the differences between the different types of U.S. supply chains: 

  1. Military supply chain
  2. Defense supply chain
  3. Government supply chain
  4. Commercial supply chain

Each has defining and differentiating traits that influence the way supplies and resources are procured, transported, maintained, and delivered. 

For example, the military supply chain involves all branches of the U.S. military, meaning the supply chain needs to account for MIL-SPEC and government standards as much as it does cross-channel shipping and desert transportation. Similarly, government supply chains reach diverse branches of federal oversight, making it challenging for businesses to understand and comply with regulations and procedures.

By understanding the differences between these supply chains, we can tailor our strategies and offerings to meet the unique needs of each market. This can help your flight program run smoothly while also ensuring your parts and supplies are readily available and within your budget. 

Discover what characteristics separate each supply chain.

Military Supply Chain

The military supply chain is a subset of the government supply chain that focuses on providing the necessary goods and services to the military. This includes everything from military aircraft parts and ammunition to food and clothing. The military supply chain is complex and often involves multiple contractors and suppliers. 

To ensure that materiel entering the military supply chain meets quality specifications, MIL-STD sets five types of defense standards: 

  1. Design criteria
  2. Interface
  3. Manufacturing process
  4. Standard practices
  5. Test Method

Throughout the entire supply chain, aerospace suppliers and contractors play a critical role in providing the military with the technologies and equipment it needs to carry out its missions. These companies are responsible for designing, manufacturing, and maintaining a wide range of aircraft, satellites, and other technologies that are used by the military and government. 

A helicopter delivers supplies to an aircraft carrier at sea.
The military supply chain requires precise logistics at sea, on land, and in all climates. Image source

Government Supply Chain

The government supply chain is a complex and highly regulated system that involves federal, state, and local government agencies. The government procures a wide range of goods and services, from office supplies to aerospace technology, to support its operations and fulfill its missions. 

Businesses that want to participate in government contracting need to understand the procurement process and unique regulations, as well as the needs and preferences of government decision-makers. 

For aerospace suppliers and contractors, the government supply chain offers significant opportunities for growth and expansion. The aerospace industry provides a range of products and services to support government agencies and military operations, including aircraft, satellites, space systems, and related technologies. 

Types of aerospace and aircraft companies in government supply chain programs may include: 

  • Aircraft manufacturers
  • Defense contractors
  • Aerospace technology companies
  • Spacecraft manufacturers 
  • Aircraft maintenance and repair
  • Navigation and communication technology companies
  • Aviation component manufacturers 

Aerospace companies must comply with strict regulations and quality standards to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their products and services. They’ll also face competition from established government contractors, suppliers, and emerging decision makers in the market. 

Defense Supply Chain

The defense supply chain is a subset of the military supply chain that specifically focuses on the production and delivery of defense-related products and services. This includes everything from aircraft missiles to cybersecurity and intelligence services. Military defense contracting is highly regulated and often requires specialized knowledge and expertise. 

The defense supply chain is closely related to both the military and government supply chains. It is a critical component of the military supply chain, providing the necessary equipment and technologies that are essential to carrying out military operations. 

Commercial Supply Chain

Commercial supply chains—as opposed to government and military supply chains—involve public buyers on a global scale, often indirectly. Whereas government and military supply chains depend on high-ranking decision makers to dictate the demand and movement of supplies, commercial supply chains rely more on public buying trends and needs. 

Commercial supply chains impact aerospace in similar ways as government, defense, and military supply chains. When energy shortages influenced shipping routes, all industries were affected. With aerospace parts and distribution, commercial shipping delays can hamper procurement as much as defense supply chain shortages. That’s why Greenwood Aerospace works with our extensive network of suppliers to combat supply shortages and shipping delays to bring you cost-effective, expedient procurement of all your flight program’s parts and aircraft requirements.   

The Military Supply Chain Today

With almost 800 U.S. military bases worldwide, the necessary logistics to support and maintain a successful military supply chain demands knowledge of all climates, topographical and political. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, submits five principles of logistics for all militaries to follow. They are:

  1. Cooperation
  2. Economy
  3. Flexibility
  4. Foresight
  5. Simplicity

Today, the U.S. Department of Defense is spearheading efficiency in military supply chains through these principles, as well as through several internationally-implemented practices, including:

  • Focused logistics: the process of combining logistics with information and transportation technologies to perform operational and tactical duties at the highest level of efficiency 
  • Lean logistics: the process of executing logistics while reducing waste through five steps: define, measure, analyze, improve, control

Delays and shortages in commercial supply chains can have serious consequences—we witnessed this with medication and baby formula shortages. More often than not, though, delays are a nuisance rather than a dire situation. In military supply chains, logistical missteps can mean tactical disadvantage or even loss of lives. It is imperative to national security and to the lives of our servicemen and women that all military supply chains are operating at peak efficiency. 

Military supply chains vary in much the same way general and government supply chains do: they require different oversight and resources for each branch of the military. The various military supply chain management commands include:

Each branch of the military serves its distinct purpose—whether to protect the nation at home, overseas, at sea, or in the skies—and each military supply chain supports that purpose. Still, the strength of the U.S. military is in its branches supporting one another, in combat as much as in peacetime, and military supply chains are no different.

What Does the U.S. Navy Supply Chain Have to Do With Aerospace?

You might be asking: What does an Aerospace company have to do with the U.S. Navy? Plenty! 

Not only has Greenwood Aerospace proudly supported the U.S. Navy—along with every other branch of the U.S. military—the Navy and Air Force are two of the major military supply chains working in tandem to optimize operations. 

According to 448th Wing Commander Dennis D’Angelo, the U.S. Air Force supplies the Navy’s C-130 Hercules transport aircraft with propellers. This is just one of the ways our Navy and Air Force support one other. 

On the U.S. Navy’s side of operations, the branch deploys 11 of the largest aircraft carriers in the world, 23% of the active aircraft carriers in the world. These massive ships provide vital tactical support to our air forces at home and abroad. The Navy’s supply chain not only supports our brave Naval soldiers and officers, but our Air Force, USAAF, and Air National Guard fleets as well.

A dozen F4U Corsairs sit staged for flight on an aircraft carrier as military personnel work on the landing deck.
The U.S. Navy and its aircraft carriers provide necessary support to our military pilots and fleets. Image source

U.S. Navy Military Supply Chain 

Navy Supply Chain Management, or SCM, is the largest investment of resources through Naval Supply Systems Command, or NAVSUP. NAVSUP invests over 3,000 personnel and $43 billion of inventory into SCM. 

Navy Supply Chain Management operates under two support systems: 

  1. Fleet Supply Support
  2. Program Support

Navy Supply Chain Fleet Supply Support

The Navy Supply Support System was formed to perform 5 basic functions: 

  • Distribute parts required for component maintenance
  • Document shipping and receiving of parts
  • Procure necessary resources for operations
  • Properly Identify parts and equipment
  • Warehouse necessary naval equipment

Under its Fleet Supply Support, SCM follows 7 basic tenets, which are:

  1. Determine Requirements: Determines and projects requirements for activity, repair, and procurement
  2. Allocate Material: Covers the processes for managing assets, orders, and repair workloads
  3. Manage Repairs: Identifies, schedules, and procures funding for current and anticipated repairs
  4. Contract for Repair Services: Covers contracting for Materiel & Services with regards to IAW laws, standards, regulations, policies, and procedures; most often oversees contractor surveillance, active contract management, award of contracts, solicitation offers, and/or procurement planning
  5. Develop Allowances: Helps to develop and publish allowances and load lists for normal and contingency operations; employs Readiness Based Sparing (RBS) for Weapon Replaceable Assemblies (WRAs) to calculate retail aviation allowances
  6. Manage Financials: Plans and executes NAVSUP WSS Materiel Budget, while monitoring financial and budget indicators, develops strategies, and manages finances of active units
  7. Provide Customer Service: Serves as point-of-contact for supply concerns, including serving as customer facing entity for Fleet & Industrial suppliers for such requirements as technical information, material movement, backorders, order status, and expedited shipments

Navy Supply Chain Program Support

Conducted under the Naval Sea Systems Command, or NAVSEA, Logistics Program Support enables the Navy supply chain to conduct seamless operations while operating within MIL-SPEC and government standards. Through its Program Support system, SCM focuses primarily on life cycle and logistical capabilities, readiness support, analysis, and overall support . Its 8 departments include:

  1. Life Cycle Management: Provides “cradle to grave” support for Hardware Systems Commands, covering start of production, ramp-up, declining, phasing out, decommissioning, and disposing of systems
  2. Reliability Improvement: Develops and executes Logistics Engineering Change Proposals (LECPs) in accordance with the U.S. Navy Working Capital Fund (NWCF) to purchase improved systems to increase program reliability
  3. Interim Support: Covers subset of introduction, supply, and inventory management support for new or modified weapons systems and equipment
  4. Security Assistance: Includes complete logistics support for Foreign Military Sales (FMS)
  5. Integrated Logistics: Supports Hardware Systems Commands to supply, maintain, train, and transport Navy Weapons Systems
  6. Maintenance Planning: Covers the development of detailed data regarding identification, maintenance, and logistics support for weapons systems and equipment, including the Master Repairables Item List (MRIL)
  7. Deployable Capability: Details planning, funding, partnering, and supply chain management in sustained, indefinite worldwide operations
  8. Configuration Management: Oversees technical and administrative direction over the life cycle of items to identify, document, control changes, record, report, and audit necessary information, functional and physical characteristics, and configuration to verify contract requirements
A jet launches from a Naval aircraft carrier.
The U.S. Navy supply chain ensures military aircraft stays airborne.

Image source

The Navy Supply Chain Fleet and Program Support are instrumental in ensuring our U.S. Navy is stocked, supported, and fully operational. Understanding its life cycle and configuration management is key to knowing the ins and outs of the supply chain and its assistance to our air forces, but it is through their aircraft carriers that the Navy provides its strongest support to our aerospace. 

Navy Aircraft Carriers Support American Aerospace 

In past military action, the mere presence of the U.S.’s massive aircraft carriers has deterred attack. Providing immediate deployment, assistance, and engagement, aircraft carriers can carry anywhere from 60 to 130 Air Force, Marines, Army, and Navy aircraft at a time, fully operational and prepared to protect our nation’s interests. 

Currently, the U.S. employs two classes of aircraft carriers:

  • Nimitz class
  • Gerald R. Ford class

In 2017, the USS Gerald R. Ford was commissioned to replace Enterprise and Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, ushering in the next generation of warships. Characteristics of the upgraded aircraft carrier include:

  • Two nuclear reactors with four shafts
  • Capacity for over 75 aircraft
  • Armaments of Evolved Sea Sparrow and Rolling Airframe Missiles, with a Close-in Weapons System
  • 1,092 feet in length
  • 30+ knots travel speed

Four Ford-class aircraft carriers are in development or in process of being delivered to the Navy. They are:

  1. USS Gerald R. Ford
  2. PCU John F. Kennedy
  3. PCU Enterprise
  4. PCU Doris Miller

These aircraft carriers will not only improve our defenses CONUS and OCONUS, they will also prove instrumental to the future of Navy supply chains—along with military supply chains at large—in supporting both our defenses at sea and our air forces in flight.

Two Greenwood Aerospace employees assist a client at her laptop.
Greenwood Aerospace's expert representative are here for your supply chain needs.

Greenwood Aerospace Mitigates Your Supply Chain Stress

Need a partner to tackle all of your supply chain issues? Greenwood Aerospace has over 41 years of experience solving supply chain problems for some of the largest defense contractors in the U.S. Contact us now, and one of our expert representatives will respond within one business day. We offer all of our clients the same great service, including:

  • Mitigated supply chain stress
  • Supplier evaluations for past performance insights
  • Streamlined task optimization
  • GPIQ predictive analysis to forecast future demand

We proudly serve all branches of our military, and service all forms of long-term, short-term, single request, and repeat customer contracts. Request a quote or email us at, and we will begin solving your supply chain issues shortly.

We are excited to partner with you on all your supply chain needs!