News | Nov. 13, 2017

DLA, Navy discuss continuing efforts to adapt to evolving global threats

By John Bell

Improving timelines for maintenance of a multipurpose Navy fighter jet, enhancing support to the nuclear enterprise and maintaining superiority for Navy cyber security were among the topics senior leaders of the Defense Logistics Agency discussed with their Navy counterparts at the annual Navy/DLA Day Nov. 8 in the McNamara Headquarters Complex.

Leading the discussion were DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams, joined by Navy Vice Adm. Dixon Smith, deputy chief of naval operations for fleet readiness and logistics.

“Your Navy team here within DLA in my estimation really does a phenomenal job on a daily basis,” Williams said in welcoming the group. “Supporting our great Navy really requires the entire enterprise. And so we take this very seriously, and we’re very happy that you’re here.”

The discussion began with recognition of several action items accomplished since last year’s event:

  • Improved DLA retail storage and distribution at Navy shipyards;
  • Collaboration to increase Navy cyber security across the fleet;
  • Development of Navy/DLA logistics analytics;
  • Approval of additional DLA items made by 3-D printing (known in the industry as additive manufacturing);
  • A process to speed up DLA’s support  to submarine operations; and
  • A Navy-created list of items it needs that are made via 3-D printing.

For the near future, DLA’s focus “is all about  helping the Navy maintain readiness and lethality,” said Navy Capt. James Albritton, DLA’s national account manager for the Navy.

To that end, Williams and Smith, along with Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, commander of Naval Supply Systems Command, signed a performance-based agreement that clarifies and further specifies DLA’s level of support to the Navy in the coming years.

That support comes in several key areas the leaders discussed, as representatives of both organizations presented strategies for improving performance. Among these was DLA’s support to the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet — now known more commonly as the Rhino — a multipurpose fighter jet. DLA has been working to reduce backorders and speed up maintenance on the jets, leaders said.

Their discussion of DLA’s support to the nuclear enterprise centered on boosting the rate of materiel availability — the portion of items not out of service. DLA is spending nearly $28 million to improve this metric.

Other areas discussed were maintaining readiness of key weapons systems such as submarines, radars and others; greater efficiency in the recycling of ships by Disposition Services; efforts to maintain the edge in cyber security; network optimization; research and development; and other topics.