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News | March 7, 2017

DLA now offers custom medical kits

By Shawn J. Jones DLA Troop Support

The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support is now offering customized medical kits to better meet the needs of its customers.

Sailors from the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet were the first DLA customers to take advantage of the new offering, said Abin Mathai, a contracting officer and team chief in Troop Support’s Medical supply chain.

In the past, DLA only provided stock medical kits containing pre-determined items and quantities. When the warfighter wanted a medical kit to more precisely meet their needs for particular medical items or quantities, Troop Support was unable to secure an industry partnership capable of meeting the requirement on-time at a reasonable price, said Daniel Keefe, the director of Medical Supplier Operations.

But that changed when DLA formed a partnership with LC Industries, American Medical Depot and the National Industries for the Blind.

“With AMD’s capabilities to source all components, and LC Industries’ experience to design and build the right package for those components, this industry partnership will allow the MTO program to take off,” Keefe said.

Customers can now rely on DLA for medical kits containing a wide selection of items, such as pharmaceuticals, instruments, bandages, splints and needles, in the quantities they require.

The partnership also offers a streamlined, single-source solution for DLA customers.

“Customers always want items faster and cheaper,” Keefe said. “With the MTO process, we allow the customer to tailor their needs into requirements that our partners are able to produce in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

While the Navy was the first customer to purchase MTO medical kits, other customers are right behind them, including the U.S. Air Force and the Afghan police force.

“It’s been kind of blowing up lately with unique requirements coming in,” Mathai said.

He said he expects the orders to keep coming.

“We anticipate that once the word gets out that DLA has this contracting vehicle, we should receive even more requirements from the warfighter,” he said.

While Troop Support better supports its customers through the MTO medical kit program, working with NIB creates opportunities for people who are blind.

“It’s creating and sustaining jobs for people who are blind while still getting the supplies we need to support the warfighter at a fair and reasonable price,” Mathai said.