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News | Jan. 22, 2021

DLA Aviation in Huntsville moves onto a campus that is “just the right size” for them

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

After three years of working to find workspaces for its staff members that were close to each other and met their needs, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Procurement Operations in Huntsville, Alabama, finalized their move into four buildings co-located within walking distance of each other Dec. 14. 

DLA Aviation in Huntsville outgrew its original buildings when its staff gradually increased from 60 to 80 employees due to an increased workload supporting Army aircraft, spare parts, and Army missile systems as well as their support equipment. 

“We started out in two buildings and grew into six as we added more people and space became available to us on Redstone Arsenal as other DLA activities downsized,” said Paul Jensen, deputy director for DLA Aviation depot-level reparable procurement operations on the arsenal.   Jensen said they ended up occupying up to 28,000 square feet of facilities at one time and finding the right space reminded him of the storybook “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

Warren Nuckols, DLA Installation Management Richmond, Virginia, traveled to Huntsville with a team to look over the space requirements and modifications that would be needed for the Huntsville team last December.

“I want to personally thank Warren for all his efforts in spearheading our facility improvements.  In fact, the entire DLA facilities group in Richmond have been extremely supportive throughout this evolution.  Warren and his team helped identify solutions to our requirements and then set aside and provided needed funding.  This included construction and remodeling costs, purchasing of cubicles, furniture and supplies used to outfit the spaces, and then funding of contracts to move people, supplies and furniture from building to building during these transitions,” said Jensen. “Warren started this project almost exactly a year ago when they came down last December [2019].   Thanks to his team, Christmas came early for us this year.”

While most of the procurement operations contracting team is still teleworking to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, being able to return to work in 2021 in a consolidated workspace will create efficiencies and improve team morale in all three Aviation, Missile, and Acquisition Support Divisions, said Jensen.

 The new campus consists of approximating 18,000 square feet, divided into four buildings: 5201, 5202, 5205 and 5206.  The consolidated campus includes a modern, more efficient workspace for the information technology personnel that support DLA personnel working on Redstone Arsenal.  It also contains a designated source selection room needed to support a more focused and evolving strategic contracting approach in Huntsville to get critical mission essential parts to the warfighter more effectively and efficiently.

Several of the workspaces underwent renovations, which included replacing the lighting, ceiling tiles and water fountains.  Two of the buildings, 5205 and 5206, would not be functionally operational or information technology ready if not for the dedicated help and support of Nuckols and Charles “Chuck” Hatter, a project manager for DLA Information Operations, said Jensen.  

“Warren provided the facilities engineering and financial support while Chuck provided the IT infrastructure support,” he said. “What is important to understand is that in the very short period of just one year, from the time of initial custody, these two buildings were remodeled, upgraded, and became fully DLA local area network capable and operationally functional.  I truly appreciate and thank them for their great support!  It wouldn’t have happened nearly as quickly without them.”

The new campus also reduced long-term expansion plan costs by avoiding major renovations to a larger one-building facility from a minimum estimated cost of $2.5 million to less than $250,000.  Cubicles and furniture purchased in previous year upgrades were also re-purposed to minimize costs.  Reducing the overall size of the DLA footprint on Redstone Arsenal from 28,000 to 18,000 square feet will subsequently reduce annual facility utility and maintenance costs.