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Fleet Support Limited - 10th Anniversary

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Fleet Support Limited
: 31 March, 2008  (Company News)
FSL celebrates its tenth anniversary at the end of February with the satisfaction of having played a key role in the renaissance of Portsmouth Naval Base.
The Joint Venture between BAE Systems and VT Group was established originally to manage the former Fleet Maintenance and Repair Organisation (FMRO). Some 1,000 employees, primarily involved in ship repair, transferred to the new company as the private sector became tasked with improving efficiency and reducing costs in the Base.

It was a tough challenge but gradually the benefits became evident as enhanced working practices and better processes were reflected in Portsmouth’s improved performance in Royal navy ship maintenance.

FSL’s impressive performance led to an expansion of its activities in 2003 under the Warship Support Modernisation Initiative (WSMI). The company now took on around 500 more employees responsible for delivering facilities management, logistics, transport, waterfront support and fleet-time maintenance services in the Base.

WSMI also created a new identity for the Naval Base which reflected a close partnering approach between FSL and the Naval Base Commander under the umbrella of Team Portsmouth. This emphasis on working together in a seamless and open manner fuelled the further renaissance of the Base and underlined Portsmouth’s claim as the “best place to support ships.”

The results have continued to be impressive and FSL Managing Director Ian Booth believes that his company has been an integral part of the Naval Base change in fortunes.

He explains: “As a company, FSL has developed its capability considerably over the past ten years, improving our design, engineering and through-life support skills. We have also expanded our footprint by assuming responsibility for areas such as logistics, facilities management and waterfront services, besides assisting the Naval Base to develop new initiatives such as Pay as you Dine.

“One of the biggest successes has been FSL’s partnering ethos developed with the Naval Base Commander’s team, known locally as Team Portsmouth. It has produced considerable cost savings for everyone involved and that has led to the model being used for a number of other UK defence business relationships and programmes.”

Naval Base Commander Commodore David Steel also acknowledges the contribution FSL has made to strengthening Portsmouth’s position. He adds: “Portsmouth Naval Base is now recognised as a centre of excellence for supporting the Royal Navy. FSL has made a major contribution to that reputation and will play an important role in supporting future ships such as the Type 45 destroyer and CVF.”

Looking ahead, Ian believes that FSL has a considerable part to play in the development of the new BAE Systems and VT shipbuilding and naval support joint venture. “Effective through life support of RN ships will assume even greater significance with the introduction of the new destroyers and carriers,” he says
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