Maintaining a strong collaborative relationship while dealing with reduced budgets was the theme of the day as U.S. Marine Corps logistics leaders came to the McNamara Headquarters Complex May 17 to meet with Defense Logistics Agency leaders.
The annual Marine Corps-DLA Day kicked off with leaders from the two organizations highlighting the successful partnership they have enjoyed and looking to challenges for the future.
“Our big challenge here is to deliver what we do today, or even more, with a whole lot less money,” DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek said.
DLA is doing well dealing with the impacts of sequestration, Harnitchek said, but leaders are facing challenges in finding ways to reduce costs while making sure the right products are available for warfighters. The agency’s strong partnership with the Marine Corps, as with the other services, serves as a solid foundation for making those decisions, he said.
“We’re very mindful of not only being completely effective, and you guys get to define effective, you and the [combatant commands]. We’ll let you guys figure out how it’s going and tell us what things you want us to do, and then on the back end, we’ll make sure we’re doing it at the best cost,” he said.
The Marine Corps’ relationship with DLA is mutually beneficial, because the agency is a global leader in logistics and is focused on the needs of warfighters, said Marine Lt. Gen. William M. Faulkner, deputy commandant for installations and logistics. DLA’s operational mindset suits the Marine Corps’ mission, Faulkner said, and its focus on good business practices benefits the service’s bottom line.
“I think a win-win is when you can not only support those that are at the tip of the spear, but then you can make good business decisions too,” he said.
The Marine Corps and DLA have enjoyed a very successful relationship over the years, Faulkner said, but leaders are committed to improving upon that and finding areas that need work. The Marine Corps has four key focus areas in logistics, he said, including the draw down and base closures in Afghanistan, ground equipment reset, rebalancing forces in the Pacific, and meeting the challenges of sequestration. Leaders discussed these focus areas throughout the day, zeroing in on topics such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle distribution and disposition, DLA Disposition Services support in Afghanistan, clothing and textile support to the Marine Corps, and overseas stock positioning. The meeting ended with the signing of a performance-based agreement by Harnitchek and Faulkner.