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News | Dec. 26, 2019

Agency’s nerve center improves Warfighter support

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Under the lights of a massive video wall, all eyes focus on the monitors as the battle captain’s voice echoes through the microphone in the Defense Logistics Agency Synchronization Operations Center, Dec. 20.

It’s standing room only in the 24/7 center located in the McNamara Headquarters Complex on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as uniformed and civilian logisticians from across the DLA enterprise are briefed on defense missions around the world. 

“Being in the ASOC allows me to see how the things we do in Energy affects the DLA enterprise,” said Air Force Maj. Lewis Benton III, DLA Energy’s liaison officer to the ASOC. “I sync with Energy senior leadership and gain perspective to better communicate our strategic efforts during daily briefings and meetings.”

More than 80 representatives, like Benton, from DLA subordinate commands and headquarters staffs along with military, government and agency partner liaisons are synchronizing and integrating the Agency’s operational mission and business support functions in order to provide agile, global support to the Warfighter and select federal agencies. 

The cross-functional team collaborates to manage routine requirements, exercise support, future planning, business challenges and contingency responses like hurricane relief operations.

“Having people from across DLA in one room to work issues helps better connect the dots with what we do in Energy,” Benton said. “And, it gives me the ability to tell the DLA Energy story.”

The ASOC team illustrated their capabilities during a Dec. 6 visit from U.S. Transportation Command Commander Army General Stephen Lyons.  

“We got a chance to show him what the ASOC does in real time in regards to the active shooter incident at Pensacola, Florida,” Benton said. “During that event, the ASOC quickly gathered information needed to ensure safety of DLA employees.”

During the facility’s ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 6, DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams called the ASOC the “nerve center” of the agency.

“This is about that young soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman and civilian who’s somewhere out there in harm’s way at the tip of the spear and those right here in our industrial locations,” Williams said. “It’s about synchronizing our activities to provide the best possible support.” 

Benton said his experiences in the center will serve him well in the future. 

“The ASOC gives me face time with senior leaders and a good baseline of what they are thinking,” he said. “That will help my career and any future jobs that I get in the Air Force.”  

ASOC representatives normally spend about 120 days in the center, but Benton said those days might be flexible to ensure good turnover.

“Currently, the ASOC Energy LNO is being supported from personnel in DLA Energy Plans and Operations,” said Stephen Grace, Director of DLA Energy Plans and Operations. “In these early stages of establishing the ASOC, the overall roles and responsibilities are in a state of flux. Every day, adjustments are being made to better synchronize the ASOC and the entire DLA Enterprise. Once the overall battle rhythm is established, we expect to ask for volunteers for the LNO position to give DLA Energy employees an opportunity to contribute.”