A team has been formed at Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support to focus on the sustainment of the Defense Department's nuclear capabilities.
The local Nuclear Enterprise Support Office was introduced during a ceremony Feb. 27. The office will coordinate the support that DLA Troop Support’s five supply chains provide to nuclear weapons systems platforms, including submarines, aircraft carriers and strategic, long-range bombers.
Each supply chain has a division chief managing materiel support to the nuclear enterprise. Additionally, the Industrial Hardware and Construction and Equipment supply chains established integrated supplier teams to support the enterprise.
It was difficult to ensure materiel availability for all the items the weapons systems required before the concepts behind the NESO were established, said Kathy Nitka, NESO program integrator.
“It’s very hard to manage things if they’re spread out over the supply chains,” Nitka said. “But now there are material planners working to directly support these specific weapons systems.”
Nitka said an example is the Navy requiring food, medical supplies and other equipment stocked on submarines before leaving port. Tying all of those items to the nuclear enterprise nets them a higher priority over other customers’ requirements.
In January 2015, DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch created the agency’s NESO under DLA Logistics Operations to demonstrate the agency’s commitment to supporting the nuclear triad of land-based heavy bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, as well as systems performing national command and control functions.
The strategic importance of the nuclear weapons systems prompted the creation of the NESO, said Air Force Col. Stephen Petters, DLA executive director of logistics operations, via teleconference during the event.
“We’re dedicating teams of people to make sure DLA is exactly where we need to be to support these activities from the services,” Petters said.
Nitka said that she appreciates the agency’s efforts to align the work across supply chains to sustain the nuclear enterprise.
“I don’t think any other program is set up like this,” Nitka said. “Under this program, we are absolutely one DLA.”