They burn boots. They evaluate camouflage uniform colors. They expose equipment to extreme conditions.
The Defense Logistics Agency laboratory team at the Product Test Center Analytical in Philadelphia has been testing materials warfighters need since 1919.
PTC Analytical came home Oct. 18 when it was officially realigned with DLA Troop Support, the organization it’s been co-located with since moving from South Philadelphia to Northeast Philadelphia in 1999.
“Welcome back,” Army Col. Mark Simerly, DLA Troop Support commander, said to PTC laboratory associates during a realignment ceremony at the testing center at Naval Support Activity Philadelphia.
Simerly now oversees PTC Analytical, where their testing serves as quality assurance mostly for materials that DLA Troop Support buys for the warfighter.
While 98 percent of the materials tested at PTC Analytical are from DLA Troop Support, it had been aligned with DLA’s other Product Test Centers at Defense Supply Center Columbus, Ohio. The Electronic PTC and Mechanical PTC are co-located with DLA Land and Maritime in Columbus.
However, “tough” discussions began based on feedback PTC Analytical lab associates provided in the DLA culture survey in 2016, David Szczublewski, DLA Land and Maritime Product Test Center director, said.
“It became apparent that the lab associates always struggled feeling to be part of DLA Land and Maritime,” Szczublewski’s said.
Aligning PTC Analytical with DLA Troop Support makes sense, Navy Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic, DLA Land and Maritime commander, said.
“This realignment marks an important milestone in the lab’s history and represents a common sense approach that DLA embraces,” she said. “And today is definitely a common sense day following a common sense decision.
“(PTC Analytical’s) contributions to the warfighter are indisputable. Hence the alignment to Troop Support,” she said. “Not like you want Land and Maritime to lose such a fabulous team, but you want the team to be properly aligned.”
Simerly made a pledge to the PTC Analytical team as they transition to DLA Troop Support.
“We will provide the best of all possible support and leadership to you all, in terms of resourcing, guidance, et cetera, that we possibly can to ensure that we continually strive to provide the same level of excellence that you always have provided, and also look at how we can always improve the mission as we do throughout Troop Support,” he said.