Defense Logistics Agency and U.S. Transportation Command leaders discussed how to partner effectively and efficiently to provide support to warfighters worldwide June 27 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.
“As one of your big partners in the distribution concept, we’re always effective, but we’re also very mindful of what things cost,” said DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek during his opening comments. “As a Defense Working Capital Fund activity, we’re not spending our money, we’re spending [the customers’] money. I think this team’s doing great.”
USTRANSCOM/DLA Day is an annual meeting that gives senior leaders and staff from both organizations a chance to discuss logistics issues of mutual interest. DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek co-hosted the event with USTRANSCOM Commander Air Force Gen. William Fraser, who echoed the admiral’s remarks about efficiency.
“You’re doing some great things here,” he said. “It’s causing us all to think because we don’t have the resources we had in the past. The more we can do to not pass the bill onto others, the better off we’ll be going forward.”
Fraser said the effort the two organizations are making to be more efficient in their support is drawing interest from other militaries with similar concerns.
“As I was meeting yesterday with the Defense Attache Association, one of the questions I was asked is how the relationship was with DLA. I didn’t expect that, not from these defense attaches from other countries. There were 60 or 70 of them there,” he said. “That was kind of interesting. I told them it was great and that we continued to move together and partner. There is a lot of opportunities to work together. Others are watching.”
The meeting’s agenda included current operations in Afghanistan, DLA’s efforts to save more than $10 billion over the next five years, the consolidation of infrastructure in Europe and support to the rebalancing of forces in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.
Fraser said that warfighters engaged in operations was the right area to maintain focus on, but that both organizations need to continue looking forward.
“We have to stay tied to [warfighters in Afghanistan] and what’s happening there,” he said. “As we continue to look to the future, we have to understand what it’s going to look like. It could change very rapidly.”
Harnitchek said that meetings like this and continued collaboration between the two organizations are both crucial to accomplishing each one’s goals.
“When you put DLA and TRANSCOM together, we’re pretty good at getting others to listen,” he said.