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News | Feb. 11, 2022

Eisenhower students learn real-world impact of their studies through discussions with DLA

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation participated in a virtual seminar for the Organic Industrial Base class at National Defense University’s Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy on Feb. 4. This annual event brings together DLA leaders and students to connect what they learn with real-world impact.

“The OIB elective class has visited DLA Aviation for the past couple years to help their students understand how DLA Aviation supports the military services’ OIB,” said Army Col. Darren Buss, chief of the Army Customer Facing Division within DLA Aviation’s Customer Operations Directorate.

The NDU faculty intended to visit DLA Headquarters on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to get the broader DLA perspective; however, they shifted to a pure virtual visit as a COVID-mitigation measure.

DLA Logistics Operations opened the session with a welcome brief and an overview of the agency’s missions and functions before moving into detailed coverage of how DLA Aviation supports the OIB.

Among the topics addressed were the DLA Aviation business model and its impact on customers, supply and demand chains and suppliers. This model, as described by Buss during the presentation, is driven by customer input.

Critical to the success of the business model is DLA Aviation’s ability to leverage a single level of inventory and streamline the supply processes to meet service depot production requirements. Simultaneously, it must eliminate redundant activities and inventories across the Defense  Department at specific service industrial locations.

The presentation also provided a side-by-side comparison of Air Force Air Logistics Complex and Navy Fleet Readiness Center functions, shared by Air Force Col. Brian Mayer, commander, Customer Operations Directorate, DLA Aviation at Warner Robins, Georgia and Navy Cmdr. Curtis Ceaser, commander, Customer Operations Directorate, DLA Aviation at Jacksonville, Florida.

While these groups have many of the same DLA job roles, certain job roles are unique to each branch of service. DLA Aviation ISAs supporting Navy FRCs have job-specific resolution specialists and quality assurance specialists, while Air Force ISAs supporting the ALC spread these functions among other specialists. While they both operate similarly, they are not identical in organization design.

Buss said the virtual visit helps the students with their research into how the DoD could redesign the OIB of the future to support readiness.

“DLA Aviation’s presentation and discussion allowed them to understand current procedures, initiatives and challenges  supplying, storing and distributing necessary materials in support of the military service OIB production schedules,” Buss said.