The Defense Logistics Agency mission will always put the warfighter first, the DLA Troop Support commander said while reviewing the agency’s new strategic plan during a town hall in Philadelphia Nov. 30.
Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly also introduced the 2018 DLA Troop Support Campaign Plan in support of the DLA Strategic Plan, which was released Nov. 16.
Simerly echoed DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams when he said the DLA Strategic Plan for 2018-2026 was needed because the global security environment has changed, necessitating updates to DLA’s lines of effort and strategic priorities.
The DLA Strategic 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
A separate People and Culture Plan was released in conjunction with the Strategic Plan, which reflects that each line of effort is dependent on the DLA workforce.
“We will always have warfighter first. And they will be dependent on strong partnerships and the right global posture,” Simerly said. “But what’s new that we haven’t seen reflected explicitly in the plan before is the whole of government.”
Whole of government support refers to support the agency provides to the rest of the federal government outside of the Defense Department, he said.
“That’s an area of growth for us,” he said. “With the reformed approach of the administration, they’re looking for efficiencies, elimination of redundancies and best-value solutions. We’re going to extend some of our capabilities to the rest of the federal government.”
Simerly said that from the agency perspective, there’s no other command better suited to take on the whole of government mission than Troop Support and its five supply chains.
While Troop Support already provides materials to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “we think that’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
The agency may have to grow to meet the whole of government mission.
“The director is very clear,” Simerly said. “He understands that may mean we may have to develop some organization capacity beyond what we currently have in order to meet that mission without ever mitigating our warfighter-first approach.”
Language that appears in the DLA Strategic Plan and the 2018 Troop Support Campaign Plan now aligns with DOD strategic language. DLA’s Core Values are now the same as DOD’s.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s first priority emphasizes military readiness and a more lethal force. The first line of effort in the DLA Strategic Plan and the new mission statement in the Troop Support Campaign Plan also emphasize warfighter readiness and lethality.
Simerly suggested that Troop Support employees may wonder what’s lethal about what they do. He said the ultimate destination of their support is the warfighter.
“Those are the folks that are the ultimate, lethal weapons system,” he said.
The 2018 DLA Troop Support Campaign Plan features a new mission statement, vision and four lines of effort:
- Mission: DLA Troop Support delivers optimal, global supply chain solutions to ready, lethal warfighters and our other valued partners.
- Vision: A world-class team providing globally responsive warfighter support and premier supply chain leadership
- LOE 1: Warfighter Support
- LOE 2: Strong Partnerships
- LOE 3: People and Culture
- LOE 4: Performance
“When you see the Troop Support campaign plan, you should see your organization and yourself in there,” Simerly said. “You can see where you fit and … what you’re going to be expected to execute in this coming year to set conditions for the following year.”
Now that the campaign plan is out, work is underway to finalize Troop Support’s annual operating plan, which will define how the campaign plan objectives will be achieved. But first, Simerly invited the workforce to be innovative and offer new ideas.
“As a commander, I’m willing to underwrite this. As long as you’re doing it in a way that’s legal and ethical, and it’s designed to improve the mission, I want you to take risks in the appropriate manner,” Simerly said.
- Simerly also announced three recent leadership changes at Troop Support:
- Navy Cmdr. Shani LeBlanc is the new commander of DLA Troop Support Pacific.
- Stephen McDonnell is now the DLA Human Resources customer account manager at Troop Support.
- Patrick Owens is the new director of customer operations in Clothing and Textiles.
When the DLA director held his town hall at Troop Support in August, he was asked what can be done to improve the agency’s information systems. Since then, there’s been an “intense focus” on improving information technology performance, Simerly said.
Weekly reports provide command better visibility on IT performance. And members of the J6 staff visited Troop Support and sat with employees at their workstations to better understand their IT challenges, such as applications timing out or limited bandwidth.
“Our information system is our oxygen,” Simerly said. “It’s required for us to do our mission.”
Simerly said the J6 team is constantly looking for the right opportunities to upgrade and modernize, while ensuring safeguards are in place to counter the cybersecurity threat.
Agency Management Review
Richard Ellis, Troop Support deputy commander, congratulated the workforce for a successful Agency Management Review. During the Oct. 16-20 AMR, a team from DLA Headquarters met with several Troop Support staff offices to assess Troop Support’s performance, including program effectiveness, internal controls and compliance.
While pleased with the AMR, Ellis said there is room for improvement in some areas.
Ellis also reminded the workforce that the Combined Federal Campaign is underway. There are several changes to the campaign this year, including the workforce can no longer hold fundraisers.
Donations can be made online until Jan 12. Troop Support’s goal is to raise $130,000 for charities through CFC. As of Nov. 30, $32,724 has been donated.