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News | April 3, 2019

New Navy employees tour Susquehanna’s Eastern Distribution Center

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Command Affairs

New Navy employees visited DLA Distribution headquarters in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, March 13 to learn how DLA Distribution does global logistics and tour the Department of Defense’s largest distribution center.

The group, composed of employees from Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, received a command overview given by DLA Distribution Business Development Deputy Director Jim Mccormack.

Mccormack provided the group a big picture view of DLA – starting at the headquarters – explaining that it is a joint service with leadership rotating every two to three years. He went on to explain there are five Major Subordinate Commands, Distribution being one of them, that fall under the DLA “umbrella.”

“The majority of items for the warfighter are purchased by DLA Troop Support, Land and Maritime, Aviation and Energy. We here at Distribution do the receiving, storing and transportation of those items, this leaves Disposition Services for the reverse function – the turning in of property no longer in use,” Mccormack said.

He then defined the scope of Distribution’s network of 24 distribution centers located around the world.

“DLA Distribution Susquehanna and its Eastern Distribution Center, which you will tour later, is a BIG operation,” said Mccormack. “This distribution center alone does about 25 percent of the receiving, storing and transporting for the entire network.”

Mccormack added, “The overseas distribution centers are strategically located to save customers time and money.”

“Moving products forward into our theater Distribution Centers ahead of the need will reduce transportation costs for local customers in the end,” Mccormack said.

Another benefit to customers is that Distribution has the ability to expand and contract as the environment globally needs it.

“We have a very robust Acquisitions directorate that is extremely versed in what they do, which allows for our network to expand and compete as needs arise,” explained Mccormack.

Following the discussion, the group visited DLA Distribution Susquehanna’s 1.7 million square foot Eastern Distribution Center, the largest warehouse in the Department of Defense, to see the distribution process firsthand.  They visited key locations, including receiving operations, Consolidation and Containerization Point, high-rise storage and retrieval system, and the air line of communication pallet build area.