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News | Nov. 16, 2017

New DLA Strategic Plan lays out goals for 2018-2026

By Beth Reece

The Defense Logistics Agency is reaffirming its commitment to support warfighter readiness in a complex and rapidly changing environment with its new 2018-2026 Strategic Plan. The plan supports Department of Defense priorities to strengthen the nation’s military by building a more lethal force, reinforcing alliances with industry and government partners, and reforming business practices.

DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams requests that every employee use the 16-page plan as a blueprint for future operations.

“When I reviewed our previous plan I saw a strong set of core principles. It served the agency well over the past several years and it focused our efforts to support the warfighter. But the global security environment has changed, and that’s necessitated several important updates to our lines of effort and to our strategic priorities,” Williams said in a video announcing the document’s release.

The plan features five lines of effort:

  • Warfighter First – Strengthen service and combatant command readiness and lethality
  • Global Posture – Prepared for immediate action
  • Strong Partnerships – Leverage the joint logistics enterprise, interagency, industry, and partner and allied nations
  • Whole of Government – Support to the nation
  • Always Accountable – Assured supply chain, financial and process excellence

Each line of effort includes three to five objectives. The plan is also supported by a separate People and Culture Plan that outlines steps for fostering a highly skilled, diverse workforce.

Priorities under Warfighter First, which has been a cornerstone for DLA since the agency was established five decades ago, range from supporting DoD’s nuclear enterprise to linking DLA’s performance with service readiness rates. DLA will provide new and innovative logistics solutions using emerging technology like unmanned vehicles and robotics. The agency will also continue to address operational risks, cyber security, terrorism and counterfeiting through all of its supply chains and lifecycle sustainment.

Under Global Posture, DLA will ensure logistics support is located where warfighters need it. DLA regional commands, major subordinate commands and customer liaisons will synchronize DLA capabilities based on the needs of combatant commands and other customers. Expeditionary forces like rapid deployment teams, DLA support teams, deployable depots, expeditionary contracting support teams and the DLA Joint Reserve Force will also train for emerging missions that support customers and key partners such as the U.S. Transportation Command.

The Strong Partnerships priority aims to extend collaboration with military logistics providers, other government agencies, suppliers and allied nations. DLA will strengthen partnerships using tenets of Joint Publication 4.0, a DoD doctrine on logistics support in joint environments. These new partnerships will help the agency support aging weapons systems and lifecycle planning for new equipment. Open communication with suppliers and industry associations will also help DLA develop responses to supply-chain vulnerabilities and implement stronger business practices.

Through the Whole of Government focus, the agency will continue sharing its expertise across numerous supply chains with more than 40 government agencies conducting domestic and international operations. Goals include strengthening crisis-response and contingency operations, as well as using DLA’s global assets to provide more cost-effective solutions, eliminating duplication and capitalizing on economies of scale.

Always Accountable objectives ensure DLA’s business is guided by ethical behavior, reliability and transparency. DLA will achieve auditability through documented processes, automated tools, and controls that are secure and compliant. Risk assessment and mitigation measures also remain top priorities.

Although People and Culture is not identified as a line of effort in the new plan, the workforce must possess the skills, tools and supporting culture to meet DLA’s ever changing demands, Williams said.

“In previous DLA Strategic Plans, ‘People and Culture’ was a separate line of effort that focused on building and sustaining a workforce capable of meeting current future mission requirements. Under this strategic plan, we are calling out people and culture as a foundational, critical element of everything we do, and therefore have created a separate companion human capital plan appropriately titled the ‘DLA People and Culture Plan,’” Williams said on page 12.

Objectives include professional development, attracting a highly skilled and diverse workforce, maintaining life/work balance and rewarding performance.

Additional guidance for implementing the plan will be released in 2018 and will be incorporated into Annual Operating Plans throughout the enterprise. Progress will be measured by plans and policy experts, who will also provide detailed, constructive feedback to ensure success.

“I urge each of you to do your part in helping the agency carry out this plan,” Williams said. “This will give us the best chance of overcoming the unforeseen challenges we know are in our future.”