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News | July 17, 2017

DLA director visits DLA Distribution headquarters

By Dawn Bonsell DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams visited DLA Distribution headquarters in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, July 7 for an orientation meeting with senior leaders and a tour of the DLA Distribution Susquehanna facility. 

The day’s events began with DLA senior leaders briefing Williams on a structural overview of the organization, bringing him up-to-speed on how things have changed at Distribution since his tour as commander of DLA Land and Maritime. 

Williams opened the discussion by stating, “Having been in DLA before, I understand the important role you play. Without this command, we’re really just supply…not distribution. You are one of the aspect of DLA that makes us a global network.”

Kicking off the Distribution overview, the organization’s commanding general, Army Brig. Gen. John S. Laskodi, explained Distribution’s global footprint, core capabilities, challenges and where Distribution is focused for the future. While there is a strong focus on leadership at DLA Distribution that is cascading to the workforce, there is also a recognized need for additional leadership development. The overall culture index is up 36 percent since 2014 and plans are in place to update planning processes, improve coordination and integration, and improve decision making and communication processes. 

“Focus on culture as much as mission,” Williams said. “If you have the right culture and a clear mission, people at all levels will do what’s necessary to make things happen.” 

Williams also stated that he believes strongly in employee recognition and awards. 

Part of bridging the gap between leadership and a large workforce involves planning and properly communicating plans to the workforce. Strategic Planning Director Scott Rosbaugh briefed the general on Distribution’s campaign/annual operating plan, which is directly nested with DLA’s strategic goals. During the orientation meeting, Williams also learned about the DLA Distribution history—the transformation from 1991 to 2017, DoD warehouse and infrastructure optimization, foreign military sales, stock readiness, kitting, acquisition performance, the joint expeditionary force, the trans-Arabian network, Distribution pricing initiatives, and the focus on the future with modernization and optimization including improving readiness at a reduced cost.   

During a windshield tour of the installation, Williams stopped to view DLA Distribution’s expeditionary capability. The capability, also known as DDXX, deploys for contingency operations, humanitarian missions and other military exercises via movable structures and communications equipment operated by a team trained to perform storage and distribution in any environment. DDXX supports numerous humanitarian assistance missions, both national and international, and a multitude of military exercises to ensure warfighter readiness. 

While touring the inflatable beam tent, Williams said, “This is great. I’ve never seen anything this size that can be set up so quickly.”

Army Col. Brad Eungard, commander of DLA Distribution Susquehanna, then led Williams on a tour through DLA Distribution Susquehanna. During the tour, Williams said he enjoyed shaking hands with the Susquehanna workforce and talking with them as they described their roles with the agency. Williams concluded the Distribution tour at the warehouses located in Mechanicsburg at Naval Support Activity, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.