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News | Jan. 29, 2021

ASOC, COVID-19 Task Force fortified with reservists

By Air Force Lt. Col. Will Cambardella DLA Joint Reserve Force Public Affairs Officer

At the nexus of mission readiness and enterprise sustainment, the Defense Logistics Agency’s Agency Synchronization Operations Center operationalizes logistical support to the warfighter and federal partners conducting missions around the globe.

The ASOC is the “nerve center” for DLA coordination, prioritization and positioning of supplies 24/7 to ensure readiness and joint enabling capabilities. It functions with reservists who provide the connective tissue to accomplish any operation. One of those operations has been the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Over the last year, reservists from the DLA Joint Reserve Force have contributed to centrally managing support requests by providing the timely processing of over 545 requests for information and enabled the tracking and delivery of more than $374 million in total material support in pandemic response, including $65 million in subsistence material, $69 million in personnel equipment, $6 million in petroleum products, $118 million in construction material, $88 million in medical material, $11 million in repair parts and $17 million in critical reused materials.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Hugh Wilson has served as an ASOC branch chief over the last three years and coordinates schedules for the reserve personnel who work in the ASOC. A reservist himself, Wilson has provided direct daily operations support for DLA’s COVID-19 response since the beginning, including synchronizing and analyzing crucial data across DLA and with federal partners.

“The ASOC simply could not accomplish its mission without the support of reserve personnel,” Wilson said. “They have been key enablers of success, baked in every mission and will continue to be an integral part of our team moving forward.”

One such reservist from the JRF leaned forward, joining the DLA COVID-19 Task Force full-time to coordinate providing life-saving medical and personal protective equipment across the whole of government. Army Lt. Col. Mark Laskoski helped manage critical information flow throughout the operation. Laskoski, an acquisition support officer, provided expertise and leadership to the Task Force from the height of DLA COVID-19 response operations in March for six months.

“Being part of the task force opened my eyes to the necessity of just-in-time operations,” Laskoski said. “DLA’s role as a supplier for the Department of Defense as well as our Whole of Government partners enables mission sustainment and ultimately saves lives.”

Laskoski gained a greater perspective interacting with various sections and personnel from the DLA’s major subordinate commands, federal agencies and DLA senior leaders — among them, the head of COVID-19 Task Force, Lee Dvonch, who selected Laskoski to be his executive officer.

The ASOC has seen other JRF personnel provide critical support. As far as drilling reservists, the ASOC currently has 20 reservists assigned to stand watch alongside their active-duty counterparts during their respective designated drill weekends.

Navy Capt. James Shelton works in the JRF as a special assistant to the commander.

“These billets are a great opportunity for JRF reserve members to sync their civilian and military experiences alongside a dedicated team of professionals,” Shelton said. “The reserve utility is essential in every phase given the high demand for stock levels right now.”

According to JRF former-Senior Battle Watch Duty Officer Army Lt. Col. David Allan Matheson, reserve personnel constitute 80% of all ASOC watchstanders. ASOC reservists have provided direct support for every critical DLA HQ mission since its inception in 2019. In addition to the DLA COVID-19 Task Force, the ASOC provided support to Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Inherent Resolve, hurricane response missions, interagency support for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and most recently, the presidential inauguration.

Over 25 reserve personnel were nominated as part of the DLA 2020 Large Team of the Year, which recognized key contributors during the COVID-19 response.