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News | Dec. 28, 2015

New rapid deployment teams complete training, equipping requirements

By Beth Reece

The Defense Logistics Agency’s ability to quickly respond to national emergencies and global contingencies grew stronger Dec. 14-16 as a group of rapid deployers completed pre-deployment training and equipping requirements. The event was hosted by the Joint Logistics Operations Center’s Mission Support Team at DLA Headquarters and is part of the agency’s Rapid Deployment Initiative.

The RDI program consists of two 13-member teams that are mission-tailored to augment logistics capabilities of geographic combatant commands and the U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Task Force Port Opening. The task force is a joint expeditionary organization that can rapidly establish and operate a port of debarkation, as well as conduct cargo-handling and movement operations.

RDI team members are volunteers from DLA Headquarters and field activities, representing each of DLA’s supply chains, distribution, disposition, information technology, expeditionary contracting and legal services. The teams will be available for deployment on short notice beginning Jan. 1 and will alternate on alert status every 60 days, said Jeff Crosson, a logistics operations specialist for DLA Logistics Operations.

“These teams give DLA the flexibility to react quickly and avoid going through a request for forces process, which can be very time consuming,” Crosson said. “We went through a thorough qualification and screening process to make sure we had people with the right grade and skill set. During these last two days, they’ve shown great willingness to be proactive and obviously want to support the mission.”

DLA liaisons to U.S. Northern Command and the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave informational briefings during the orientation. Other topics included current operations, operational contract support and the capabilities of DLA Distribution’s expeditionary team.

The group also received personal protective equipment such as flak vests and were familiarized with the DLA Mobile Command Vehicle, which is a central communications hub where deployers can relay information to DLA Headquarters via voice, video or data. The 30-foot trailer encompasses five complete workstations, a storage area and a conference room.