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News | Feb. 23, 2018

Members of the U.S. Army’s 6th Medical Logistics Management Center visit DLA Distribution

By Diana Dawa DLA Distribution Public Affairs

The 6th Medical Logistics Management Center is a unique, one-of-a-kind Army unit with the mission to deploy, establish, integrate, and synchronize medical logistics operations in support of any Army or Joint Forces specified mission.

As part of their leadership professional development program, members from the Army’s 6th Medical Logistics Management Center visited DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, Feb. 20, to learn about DLA’s global logistics processes and operations. 

The 19-member team received a distribution overview presentation detailing various special functions the command provides - such as kitting and hazardous material handling - and detailed transportation coordination that the organization provides for all of DLA.

After the presentation the group received a walking tour of DLA Distribution Susquehanna’s Eastern Distribution Center, the largest warehouse in the Department of Defense. 

There, they toured the receiving, processing, storage, retrieval and out loading operations, where they saw the distribution supply chain in action.  Their tour included other key locations – the Consolidation and Containerization Point, the high-rise storage and retrieval system, and the air line of communication pallet build area.

In Building 89 they learned of the Cold Chain Team Management processes and packaging control.

Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Knighten is their Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Operations.  He deals a lot with helping other units prepare for deployments – teaching them about systems that are utilized in requesting medical equipment or medical supplies.

“Seeing how that all connects down here at the distribution center has value to the entire group.  It helps connect the pieces, or better yet, broadens the perspective on how all the pieces are connected in the mission, so that we understand better the importance of what we’re doing.”

According to Capt. Jose Melendez, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 6th MLMC, part of their job is to act as enablers when in their theater of operation, where they often have to start their set-up from scratch.  Witnessing the distribution process up close here is very helpful.

“Understanding the chain and the process will help us out by way of managing expectations for our customers.  Instead of telling them constantly that items are coming, (by seeing this process) we can help them understand where (items/supplies) it’s coming from and what impact it has on their request.”