DLA Troop Support celebrates 219 years warfighter support in Philadelphia

By John Dwyer III DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Employees filled the lobby of the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support headquarters building July 6 to celebrate 219 years of the organization’s continuous logistics support to the United States.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, DLA Troop Support commander, hosted the anniversary celebration and reminded Troop Support employees to be proud of their heritage of support to the nation.

“It’s part of your legacy,” Simerly said. “You are part of that legacy as well. And I am extremely proud to be a part of this team.”

Although the official “birth” of DLA may stem from the Oct. 1, 1961 creation of the Defense Supply Agency – a single-point Department of Defense organization necessitated by World Wars I and II and subsequent conflicts – DLA Troop Support ties its origins to the acquisition of the Schuylkill Arsenal.

On July 6, 1799, the federal government purchased 8.6 acres of land on the banks of the Schuylkill River at Gray’s Ferry to construct the first federal arsenal for the 23-year-old nation. The warehouse’s purpose was to hold ammunition and other military supplies such as clothing and textiles.

“From that time forward, we have had a continuous legacy of supporting our nation’s warfighters,” Simerly said. “And we will continue to have this mission here in Philadelphia.”

The manufacturing, storing, and distribution of clothing and textiles became the arsenal’s sole purpose in 1818. The mission that started at the Schuylkill Arsenal carries on today at DLA Troop Support in Philadelphia as the Clothing and Textiles supply chain, procuring uniform items for the military services and other government agencies.

Leaders from the Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg and Philadelphia, tenant organizations, surrounding Naval Supply Systems Command locations and the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce also attended the event.

“We are so honored to have a relationship with Troop Support and to be a part of this historic celebration,” Pam Henshall, president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce said.

A consolidated history of DLA Troop Support’s role in federal logistics support can be found on the DLA Troop Support website. For an overview of DLA’s history, see the DLA website.