NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Sam Amber, national security advisor for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa., visited the midstate on October 11 meet with the leadership of DLA Distribution in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
Amber, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, was interested in learning how the installation was protecting and promoting its assets.
He discussed his previous meetings with Air Force Gen. Darren McDew, U.S. Transportation Command commander, regarding increased cyber security for government contractors. “What help do you need to ensure government contract vendors are up to speed with these requirements?” asked Amber. DLA Distribution deputy commander Twila Gonzales, Senior Executive Service, agreed that it’s an ongoing challenge to ensure government contractors are serving as proactive protectors of any classified, and unclassified, information with which they are entrusted.
Amber also expressed interest in the current DLA Distribution Military Construction (MILCON) projects and offered assistance with any pending projects.
“Well, we’re currently sitting in a $96 million MILCON building,” said Perry Knight, DLA Distribution chief of staff, in reference to the new DLA Distribution headquarters building. He then explained the project sought to replace decades old buildings that were designed for a different purpose than that for which they had been utilized. The oldest building occupied by employees was nearly 100 years old and dated back to the establishment of the installation. Other occupied buildings were established in the 1940’s and 50’s, while some employees simply worked out of temporary trailers for years awaiting a proper workspace. Knight thanked Amber for Sen. Toomey’s continued support of such projects, and described other MILCONs in the works, such as updated Access Control Points and various building renovations.
According to Knight, the MILCONs serve to better the quality of life and productivity of the nearly 2,600 employees working throughout the installation’s 848 acres, 26 buildings and 10.1 million sq. ft. of covered storage.
However, added Gonzales, the projects must always serve the mission at hand. “It all goes back to the taxpayers and assuring them that we’re being good stewards of their dollars while doing all we can to support the warfighter.”
Following the discussion, Amber toured the installation’s Eastern Distribution Center, the largest distribution processing facility in DoD, handling 25 percent of DLA Distribution’s total receipt, storage, and issue of materiel worldwide.