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News | Feb. 12, 2019

Distribution commander hosts team rally touting new business and network modernization

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Command Affairs

On the morning of Jan. 29, DLA Distribution Commanding Officer Navy Supply Corps Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones hosted Distribution’s inaugural Team Rally.


Up tempo music, provided by DLA Distribution Current Operations traffic management specialist Paul Smith, filled the air as employees entered the Gainey Auditorium, located in the headquarters building in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.


The rally began with Jones recognizing employees. The director of Distribution’s Future Plans, Scott Rosbaugh received the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award; Future Plans Strategic Planner Josh Bell received The DLA Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Public Affairs Specialist Diana Dawa received a length of service award for 35 years of federal service; and Andrew Tulli was presented a certificate of appointment for his selection as the new Small Business Programs associate director for DLA Distribution.


Following the awards, Jones transitioned the rally and began to discuss, as he called them, the “big rocks.”


The commanding officer started by introducing DLA Distribution Business Development deputy Jim McCormack to talk about Distribution’s newest business interest.


McCormack announced that on Jan. 4, 2019, DLA—specifically Distribution—and U.S. Transportation Command were selected as the F-35 Global Transportation and North American Warehousing provider for the program.


“This is a key watershed moment for DLA Distribution,” explained McCormack. “Enjoy and celebrate this moment—it is huge.”


McCormack went on to explain the business venture is the first time a major Department of Defense logistics command has been selected to support the F-35 program. “We’re viewing this as an opportunity for DLA Distribution to support the F-35 for the next 50 years.”


Jones chimed in, “You are all going to be involved in this. And I’ve got to be honest with you. I need you. I need all of you to be all in—all the time. I need you doing the right things and doing the right things right. The world is watching us. And I can’t do it without you.”


Following the F-35 announcement, Jones asked the Director of Future Operations, Paul Abel, to address the audience on Distribution’s modernization plans which aim to increase productivity and provide greater efficiencies across the entire distribution network. 


Abel explained that modernization is the key to keeping Distribution competitive and relevant in the new world of DOD Reform.


According to Abel, the Eastern Distribution Center modernization effort is “our greatest single modernization effort to date since the EDC opened for business more than 20 years ago.”


He explained how Distribution worked closely with a logistics consulting firm, which allowed for a better understanding of modernization options and the ability to leverage the successes found throughout the commercial sector.


“Modernization opportunities promise increased efficiencies, reduced costs and improved support to the warfighter,” said Abel.


Addressing the Warehouse Management System refresher project at DLA Distribution Corpus Christi, Texas, Abel explained the pilot went live in June 2018 and is moving forward with great success.


“I was on-site a couple months ago and the Corpus team is fulfilling orders in WMS for the 2,000 National Stock Numbers that are currently part of the pilot,” Abel said. “We are headed towards completion of the pilot by the end of this fiscal year.”


The other half of WMS is the Transportation Management System.

Abel explained, “The Distribution team has been working with the United States Transportation Command since July 2018 on their TMS pilot efforts.  As USTRANSCOM’s largest customer, we are a critical partner and need to make certain all Distribution equities are adequately addressed so we can better understand how TMS will impact our processes and personnel.”


Distribution has spent the past six months mapping out transportation processes alongside USTRANSCOM counterparts as part of the overall blueprinting effort. Teams are currently in the process of conducting site visits and engaging with transportation points of contact at distribution centers in Puget Sound, Washington; Tracy, California; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to better understand the process and gain additional insight into possible challenges.


Following the modernization update, Distribution’s Current Operations Director, Joe Cassel briefed the headquarters audience on the status of Distribution’s 100 percent inventory being completed by an independent public accountant.


“To date, we have completed over 700 thousand inventories of items and are on track to complete almost 2.4 million items by year end,” explained Cassel. “We will meet the challenge and continue our pursuit of an unqualified opinion for DoD.”


Jones closed the rally by discussing Distribution’s efforts during the 2018 hurricane season. “During Hurricane Florence, our expeditionary team on the ground at Fort A.P. Hill and Maxwell Air Force Base processed over 1,000 trailers and distributed nearly 8.5 million liters of water and over 8.7 million meals to assist the victims.”


“I couldn’t be more proud of this team and what they do for humanitarian missions around the world,” Jones said.