History of DLA Energy

The Defense Logistics Agency is America’s combat logistics support agency responsible for sourcing and providing nearly every consumable item used by our military forces worldwide. DLA Energy is a primary-level field activity of DLA responsible for providing the Department of Defense and other government agencies with comprehensive energy solutions in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

The origin of DLA Energy dates back to World War II. Originally, the organization was an entity of the Department of Interior as the Army-Navy Petroleum Board, whose mission was to administer the critical petroleum requirements during World War II. In 1945, the organization was transferred to the War Department and became the Joint Army-Navy Purchasing Agency.

Historic refueling with cansThe organization underwent several name changes, but its mission of administering critical petroleum requirements remained essentially the same until 1962. At that time, it became a part of the consolidated military supply organization called the Defense Supply Agency. Today, that agency is known as the Defense Logistics Agency. In 1964, DLA Energy was named the Defense Fuel Supply Center and was designated as a single entity to purchase and manage the DoD’s petroleum products and coal.

In 1973, DLA Energy progressed from a wholesale fuel central procurement activity to a more comprehensive mission as the Integrated Materiel Manager for the DoD petroleum mission. Under Phase I of IMM, DLA Energy added management of the acquisition, storage, distribution and sale of fuel, with responsibility ending at the service installation boundary. In 1991, Phase II began, which expanded the ownership of bulk petroleum products to include most bulk storage installations. This effort was divided into two parts: Phase IIA, which capitalized aviation fuel and Phase IIB, which capitalized ground fuels.

In 1990, DLA Energy’s mission was expanded to include the supply and management of natural gas in addition to basic petroleum and coal products. Under this program, natural gas requirements were consolidated and centrally procured with a mission to provide direct supply natural gas to customers when determined more economical than using gas from a local distribution company.

Historic ship refuelingFeb. 11, 1998, marked the beginning of a new chapter in DLA Energy’s history with another name change, and the DFSC became the Defense Energy Support Center. With the name change came a new mission to build an energy program aimed at moving the DoD out of the management of energy infrastructure and into the management of energy products.

The initiative to deregulate electricity in the U.S. added another mission to DLA Energy’s responsibilities. As states deregulated, DLA Energy pursued and awarded contracts for electricity services to DoD and federal civilian agency installations in the same way as procurements for natural gas.

With the issuance of Defense Reform Initiative #49 in December 1998 directing the military services to privatize their utility systems, DLA Energy took the lead in providing contracting expertise to the military services in support of the aggressive goals laid out in the DRI. DLA Energy has developed a core competency in utilities privatization and has become the single procurement organization for Army and Air Force utility services contracting.

Oct. 1, 2001, DLA Energy assumed a new mission from the U.S. Air Force and now serves as the DoD’s IMM for space and space-related products and services, providing world-class support and business solutions to not only the DoD, but to other federal agencies, government contractors and academia. The new mission encompasses 93 national stock numbers with each product supporting at least one DoD major weapon system. The addition of this mission makes DLA Energy a full service provider of all energy and energy-related products.

Oct. 1, 2002, DLA Energy assumed the mission to manage and perform the worldwide energy quality mission, consolidating functions previously performed by the Defense Contract Management Agency.

Aug. 11, 2004, the Secretary of Defense designated DLA as the Executive Agent for bulk petroleum. This authority was delegated to DLA Energy on Nov. 1, 2004, with the responsibility to execute Supply Chain Management for all DoD bulk petroleum, with an emphasis on improving efficiency and minimizing duplication and redundancy within the supply chain.

Oct. 1, 2006, DLA Energy became the DoD IMM for both bulk Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen (specification MIL-PRF-27210) and liquid nitrogen (specification A-A-59503). Both were previously managed by DLA Aviation.

Historic plane refuelingIn 2009, DLA Energy’s mission continued to expand, incorporating emerging areas of renewable and alternative methods for satisfying customers’ energy needs. Its mission expanded beyond the role of traditional fuel and energy support as it leveraged new technologies. As the nation continued to embrace conservation, and as the need for energy security and a renewed awareness of the environmental impact presented themselves, DLA Energy focused on a system of solutions to meet these challenges. Its business units continued to pursue solar power, hydrogen power, synthetic fuels and other alternative fuel and renewable energy sources as new procurement, research and development initiatives materialized.

July 19, 2010, DLA Energy adopted its current name in support of DLA’s “We Are DLA” initiative. As a DLA PLFA, the command changed its name to support a single-agency environment, internally and externally, building a greater sense of community and ownership for employees, creating a clearer and more definitive identity for customers and stakeholders.

DLA Energy, despite changes in name, organization structure and an expanded mission, continues its basic mission to support the warfighter and manage the energy sources of the future.