NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Lyons, director of Logistics, J4, Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited DLA Distribution headquarters in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, Oct. 24 to discuss logistics modernization and the future of distribution.
Setting the tone for the meeting, Lyons commented that he was “interested in what [Distribution is] thinking about for the future and our ability to fight on all seven continents.”
Explaining that Distribution currently has a global reach extending to over 50 locations aligned across 20 states, eight countries, and all Combatant Commands, DLA Distribution commanding general Army Brig. Gen. John S. Laskodi highlighted the organization’s flexible support. “The purpose of our global contingency contracts and expeditionary force (DDXX) is to ensure we are able to provide a quick and agile Distribution response to satisfy emergent or surging requirements. We have a proven track record of delivering the right things, to the right place, at the right time for the warfighter and that capability will only expand in the future.”
He continued that the effects of Distribution’s expeditionary capabilities were evident in the unit’s support to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. “DDXX Intermediate Staging Bases operated 24/7 at four locations with DLA Distribution personnel supporting staging area management, trailer transfer, cross-docking, and in transit-visibility.”
In total, the team processed nearly 3,700 trailers moving nine commodities in support of FEMA operations, including over 18.4 million commercial meals and Meals, Ready to Eat, and 1.5 million liters of water.
Lyons agreed the support was invaluable, stating “I think your expeditionary team demonstrated extraordinary agility in positioning to support the hurricanes.”
Another significant point of discussion was the evolution of Distribution’s Information Technology capabilities.
Lyons stated that he anticipates warehouse modernization would positively impact warfighter readiness. “Look at strategic logistics…where we go with the future of data to enable machine learning. We need to link better with commercial industry as we look to the future.”
Laskodi agreed, saying he felt that “absolutely the future is in modernization, and Distribution is looking to design, build, automate and equip around simplified processes, and infuse technology, further aligning with industry standards.”
Following the meeting, Lyons visited the network’s largest distribution site, DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, where he toured the Eastern Distribution Center, the network’s model for innovation and technology.
In closing, Lyons commented, “What I see over time is the evolution of a business entity to a warfighting agency.”
“As we anticipate the future of maintaining military power, only one nation is capable--the United States of America, the sole super power,” he concluded.