DLA Director describes agency transitions, accomplishments in final Town Hall

By Dianne Ryder

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In his last Town Hall as the Defense Logistics Agency’s director, Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch spoke to the workforce in the McNamara Headquarters Complex April 13 about the agency’s resiliency, ongoing initiatives and future mission.

Before beginning the session, Busch called on Army Command Sgt. Major Charles Tobin, who will be departing DLA in June, to address the audience.

“I’m blessed,” Tobin said. “It’s absolutely the highlight of my career to work with a great leader like Gen. Busch.”

Tobin said he would most miss the people of DLA. He also stressed the importance of expressing gratitude and asking for help.

“If you don’t remember anything else, I want you to remember the three R’s I’m going to leave with you,” he said. “Respect others, respect yourself and take responsibility for your own actions.”

Tobin also endorsed DLA’s “phenomenal” resiliency program, noting that resiliency is one of DLA’s core values.

Busch said he couldn’t have provided a better testament to workforce resiliency than Tobin’s example.

“You will determine where workforce resiliency goes as you go forward,” Busch said. “We are all bringing baggage to work, every one of us. And there are programs that should be able to address a great many of those issues.”

Busch also addressed the reorganization of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics scheduled for February 2018, anticipating that  DLA will fall under the newly established Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

“I think we need to be with Acquisition and Sustainment. I think that is the best place for us, going forward,” Busch said. “We need to have some contact with the service acquisition executives and the programs they manage, because that is where we need to work.”

Busch presented other topics in a “Year in Review” format and discussed the importance of engagement with military services, process excellence, enhanced expeditionary capability and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. He highlighted the progress made in supporting the nuclear enterprise, noting what he called his basic philosophy for enduring change.  “If you’re going to make change that lasts, you need to write policy, you need to move resources and you need to engage your customers,” he said. “And we’ve done that.”

Regarding the people and culture tenet of DLA’s Strategic Plan, Busch said culture action planning is still very important to agency leaders.

“The senior leadership team chose to make people and culture the number two goal so that we would always talk about it,” Busch said. “I inherited it, and I hope it continues.”

Busch addressed DLA’s past successes of strategic engagement, performance-based logistics, small business excellence and financial stewardship. He said he hoped the agency would continue to value continuous process improvement in the future.

In closing, Busch said his tenure as director has been a great experience.

“It has been a pinnacle assignment for me to come here and work with you,” he said. “I knew it was a pinnacle assignment when I came here, and there is nothing about the last two and a half years that suggested that it has been anything but that.”

Senior leaders from DLA Human Resources, Finance and Information Operations fielded questions from the workforce following the Town Hall.