USTRANSCOM commander seeks increased alignment with DLA

By Shawn J. Jones DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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The commander of U.S. Transportation Command encouraged Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support employees to consider how they would have executed their duties if the warfighter wasn’t so engaged the past 15 years.

"We have thought about our enterprise the same way for a number of years, but we -- USTRANSCOM and DLA --are evolving and incorporating new mindsets as we tackle global logistic challenges," Air Force Gen. Darren McDew said during his visit to Troop Support Jan. 19.

While USTRANSCOM specializes in full-spectrum global transportation solutions, their mission is similar to DLA's in that they support the warfighter. And like DLA, they aim to deliver as much value to their customers as possible.

“I really do love the way that DLA and USTRANSCOM are working together, at least from my vantage point,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said there is room for improvement in the two organizations’ working relationship.

“It’s not about organizational change, it’s about organizational alignment,” he said. “We want the alignment, the touchpoints, the transparency, the cooperation and the teamwork to be at the right places,” he said. “We might have touchpoints that are a little different over that time period, and there are some places where we can take advantage of each other a little bit better.”

McDew said it’s important that DLA and USTRANSCOM do not duplicate each other’s work and that they identify opportunities for increased partnership.

Air Force personnel make up just a small percentage of the Troop Support workforce. So for them, the general represented more than just another distinguished visitor.

“It’s always good to see another airman visit Troop Support, especially when that airman is the four-star general in charge of USTRANSCOM,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Woodrow Ruff, who is assigned to Troop Support as part of the Air Force’s career broadening program. “He sees things from a different perspective, so it was good to hear him emphasize continued coordination between DLA and USTRANSCOM to better support the warfighter and make each other stronger and better in doing so.”

McDew also explained what he learned about Troop Support’s reputation for getting the materiel to the service members who need it, when they need it.

“I know when I go around the world talking to folks, people don’t understand how it happens. They just appreciate that it happens. And the fact that they don’t need to know how it happens, says something about what you do. It just is,” McDew said. “Like taking a big breath of air — it just is.”