BATTLE CREEK, Michigan –
The Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services West region team had a busy year, highlighted by its handling of various Navy and Army special divestiture projects conducted during a global pandemic.
Christopher Buchanan serves as director of the western region, a huge geographic area covering Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
“I think the biggest challenge we had this year was ensuring we kept our folks safe during the pandemic,” Buchanan said. That included providing proper personal protective equipment, ensuring everyone was practicing social distancing and keeping the team informed.
Buchanan said it was critical for DLA to keep its property reuse business going despite numerous area shutdowns. “We knew the services and our other customers needed the equipment we had on the shelves, especially at the beginning when we were really focusing on medical equipment.”
Every West region site provided support during the ongoing pandemic, Buchanan said, noting the transfer or donation of personal protective equipment, gowns, medical beds, thousands of N95 masks and a wide variety of other medical items.
While keeping both the workforce and its customers safe, the DLA Disposition Services mission continued. While each site could list multiple highlights from the year, two efforts in particular stood out.
DLA Disposition Services at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, serves the Naval Shipyard at Puget Sound. This year, Buchanan said the Navy tasked his team to help them remove 7,721,681 pounds of scrap material from decommissioned submarine residue. An innovative barge removal effort helped save the Navy millions of dollars by freeing shipyard personnel up to deal with vessel maintenance backlogs.
In California, DLA Disposition Services at Sierra Army Depot took in armored vehicles, personnel carriers, Bradleys, Humvees and other types totaling more than 12 million pounds.