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Air Force Col. Stephen Petters (at head of table) leads the working-level discussion at the DLA Internal Nuclear Enterprise summit March 8, 2017.
| March 17, 2017
Director calls for sustained support to nuclear enterprise
By DLA Public Affairs
The director of the Defense Logistics Agency joined with senior leaders from partner agencies to discuss how DLA can continue to improve its support to the nuclear enterprise, during a DLA Internal Nuclear Enterprise Summit March 8.
In welcoming the group, Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch noted how much DLA’s support to the nuclear enterprise has changed since he was commander of DLA Aviation about 10 years ago. It’s a subject he has been particularly focused on in his various roles during that time, he said, culminating in his current position as DLA director.
“You guys have responded exceedingly well. You’ve gone to faraway places — reaching out to people who didn’t even know we existed,” Busch said at the summit, held at DLA's McNamara Headquarters Complex, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. “You’ve made friends and contacts that we didn’t have before.”
A major goal of the summit was to solicit feedback from DLA’s nuclear enterprise customers — including the Navy and the Air Force, who are responsible for the nuclear triad missions — and U.S. Strategic Command, whose mission is to provide nuclear, cyber, space, global strike, joint electronic warfare, missile defense and intelligence capabilities.
Nuclear enterprise customers praised DLA’s commitment to material investment. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration at the Headquarters U.S. Air Force, recognized “DLA’s innovative retail support concept for the first-ever programmed depot maintenance on the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.”
Kenneth Hermanson, deputy director of logistics for USSTRATCOM, acknowledged that DLA’s lines of effort support his organization’s logistics initiatives and priorities and thanked DLA for its partnership.
Vice Adm. Terry Benedict, director of the Navy’s strategic systems programs, addressed the DLA Executive Board earlier in the day. He applauded DLA’s support and invited DLA to visit the Navy’s plants and facilities to see the significant impact of DLA’s support.
Hearing from customers helped participants understand the real impact of their day-to-day support. In addition, DLA’s field activities confirmed that their nuclear enterprise reorganizations, with dedicated nuclear enterprise support offices, has been implemented.
The summit was also a chance to discuss expectations and challenges and set near-term and long-term goals. An executive-level group, with representatives from all DLA field activities and as well as several headquarters organizations, developed goals and action items.
Near-term goals include continued engagement, such as nuclear-related site visits and codifying formal agreements with DLA’s nuclear enterprise customers. Long-term goals include increasing the agency’s role in USSTRATCOM’s operational support planning and readiness reporting in the Defense Readiness Reporting System, , as well as identifying nuclear command and control communications systems that may merit investment by DLA.
Busch noted that since April 2015, DLA has approved $204 million for investment in parts needed for the nuclear enterprise. He called for a continuing focus to ensure nuclear weapons related material does not mistakenly enter DLA’s inventories, finding metrics that show DLA’s contribution to the nuclear mission, and bolstering the trust of the agency’s partners at the combatant commands and the military services.
Air Force Col. John Waggoner, director of customer operations for DLA Aviation, summed up the benefit of the event. The summit “provided a forum for DLA leadership with its PLFAs to collectively reflect on the progress we've made over the last two years and target opportunities to continue to improve our support to the nuclear enterprise,” he said.