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News | Oct. 13, 2022

DLA leaders strengthen connections at AUSA

By Nancy Benecki DLA Public Affairs

The Defense Logistics Agency was part of the action at the annual Association of the U.S. Army Meeting and Exposition, meeting with vendor partners and guests at in Washington, D.C., this week. 

The theme for this year’s conference was “Building the Army of 2030.” Many members of DLA’s leadership attended to meet with vendors and customers and strengthen existing relationships to continue serving the warfighter.

“It’s important for DLA to be here to understand the priorities and required capabilities that we will be certainly supporting on behalf of the Army’s sustainment requirements for years to come,” said DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic.

She added that it’s vitally important to understand the critical requirements of all of DLA’s key customers, including service partners and combatant commands, to ensure the agency is in alignment with their needs. Events such as the AUSA Annual Meeting allow for those kinds of interactions.

“I’ve already run into several Army leaders, and that reinforces for them that we’re standing ready to support them no matter how hard, no matter where, anytime, anywhere,” Skubic said.

Supplier communication and interaction is one of the five focus areas of DLA’s Industry Engagement Plan. The AUSA Annual Meeting ran from Oct 10-12 and allows for in-person interaction with hundreds of suppliers, making it a highly effective venue to interact and engage with multiple DLA suppliers in a short period of time, said Matthew Beebe, director of DLA Acquisition.

“DLA leaders are able to conduct face-to-face meetings with dozens of DLA suppliers for frank and open conversations centered around warfighter support,” Beebe said. “Our participation maintains lines of communication with industry and allows us to stay current on innovations and trends being seen throughout the defense industrial base.”

Building great partnerships with the industrial base and earning the trust and confidence of supported commanders are key to providing world-class logistics material solutions for warfighters deployed around the world, said Army Brig. Gen. Eric Shirley, director of DLA Troop Support.

Shirley noted those relationships can only be built over time.

“This conference is an investment in senior leader time to make sure that we’re well abreast of the needs of our supported commanders, but also the capacity and challenges of our vendor partners,” Shirley said. “I really think that’s what this AUSA conference is for Troop Support. It’s understanding the needs of warfighters and understanding what our vendor partners can do for us.”