Distribution commanding general introduces DLA Director’s strategic plan in annual town hall meeting

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Introducing the DLA Director’s 2018-2026 Strategic Plan and discussing how the lines of effort outlined in the plan apply to DLA Distribution was the main focus of DLA Distribution commanding general Army Brig. Gen. John S. Laskodi’s November 28 town hall with headquarters staff. 

Other major topics of the meeting included DLA Distribution fiscal year 2017 successes and potential FY2018 initiatives.

After individually recognizing several employees for their contributions to DLA’s largest Major Subordinate Command, Laskodi thanked the entire audience for its contributions to the organization’s success over the past year.  “Thank you for what you do; it’s critically important.  I’ve been a consumer of this agency for my entire 35-year career and I can say without a doubt that your work is incredibly vital to the defense of our nation.”

Highlighting the organization’s expansion as one of its greatest successes over the past year, Laskodi announced that DLA Distribution is now located in more than 50 locations around the world.  “In the past year, we’ve added two new distribution centers: one in Salalah, Oman, and one in Iwakuni, Japan.  And the demand signals across the Department of Defense indicate that we could be cutting the ribbon on more.  We’re constantly evaluating the benefits of smaller distribution centers, closer to the warfighter.”

He added that the organization’s Expeditionary Team, DDXX, support to recent hurricanes has been another success story. 

After thanking the entire workforce for its support to the team as it worked to fulfill requirements from FEMA in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Laskodi stated that the DLA Director’s change in operational procedures was a major catalyst for the many success stories that occurred in spite of the hurricanes.

“A paradigm shift occurred.  We knew [Hurricane] Harvey was expected to hit our site in Corpus Christi, Texas, and had the potential to cause extensive damage, and, in response to these warnings, the Director did things we hadn’t done in the past.  He authorized travel to get our people out of harm’s way.  When I went down to visit with our folks at Corpus Christi, they were so grateful- it was absolutely overwhelming.  The distribution center had sustained $11 million in damage, but we were fortunate and the employees had the site up and operational within days.  I thank all of you for synchronizing that support.”

Shortly after Harvey made landfall, the Expeditionary Team was once again called upon to support FEMA.  The DDXX team, which was already supporting one Intermediate Staging Base in Seguin, Texas, stepped up to provide additional support to ISB Randolph, while constantly sending a common operating picture back to DLA Headquarters.

“I can’t tell you how thankful I am,” said Laskodi.  “After [Hurricane] Irma hit, and then [Hurricane] Maria, you continued to rally, providing support as they set up ISBs in Montgomery, Alabama, and Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.  I’m immensely proud of this workforce.” 

Transitioning into an introduction of the DLA Director’s 2018-2026 Strategic Plan, Laskodi announced that the plan was a “refresh, not a total reinvention.”

After summarizing each of the document’s five lines of effort and how Distribution contributes to the objectives listed within each one, Laskodi stressed that one of the most important aspects of the plan is that it maintains that People and Culture are vital to the Agency’s success and is integrated to every line of effort.

“You should be able to see what you do and how you contribute to the DLA mission in this document,” said Laskodi.  “It discusses why we do what we do, who we do it for, and how we can continue to leverage our capabilities to support the Combatant Commands.”

As for what the future holds for Distribution, Laskodi announced that the organization will be using the Director’s plan to formulate its own Annual Operating Plan for FY18, which could include the addition of another DDXX team and the continued operationalization of the organization’s reserve components into Expeditionary Distribution Support Battalions with mission-essential task lists. 

Closing out the town hall, Laskodi once again thanked the workforce for its support to the nation’s warfighters saying, “You could choose to do something else, but you choose to come here, and I’m incredibly proud and grateful to be on your team.”

He then invited the employees to join him for a tree lighting ceremony in the building’s lobby to kick off the holiday season, during which he announced, “This is a great time of year and I encourage you all to spend as much time with your families as possible.  You certainly deserve it and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.”

The entire DLA Director’s 2018-2026 Strategic Plan can be found online.