Forming new partnerships with NASA

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

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A new partnership between Defense Logistics Agency Energy and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility is reducing the space agency’s jet fuel bill.

By examining Enterprise Business System reports, the DLA Energy Customer Relationship Management team discovered that jet fuel use at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility increased from 50,000 gallons per year in 2012 to more than 500,000 gallons per year in 2016. This stark increase in fuel consumption prompted NASA to review their current vendor contract agreement and begin exploring new strategic alliances with DLA Energy.

“Our job is to negotiate agreements because of our whole of government outreach mission,” said DLA Energy Customer Operations Directorate Customer Relationship Management Division Chief Marc McConahy. “In our outreach with NASA, we discovered that fuel consumption at Wallops had gone up 88 percent due to DoD use.”

DLA Energy mission accomplishments require close collaboration and strong relationships with critical stakeholders, which is why McConahy’s team has been reaching out to optimize fuel partnerships.

In February 2017, a collaborative team of NASA and DLA Energy members’ from Customer Relationship Management, Mobility Fuels Customer Support, Direct Delivery Fuels, Supply Chain Management and DLA Energy Americas at Houston met to examine Wallops Flight Facility jet fuel supply chains, operational requirements and costs.

“DLA Energy provided the frame work to help guide NASA in their research efforts in soliciting a new vendor contact for jet fuel support at their facility,” McConahy said. “We were able to prove that purchasing fuel from a DLA Energy Defense Fuel Supply Point was the most cost effective solution for both NASA and DoD.”

Thanks to the team’s findings, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility restructured their jet fuel vendor contract using DLA Energy as their source.

“It was a lot of work on the part of DLA Energy, and they were extremely helpful,” said NASA Wallops Flight Facility Airfield Administrator Rich Rogers, C.M. “Wallops Flight Facility received their first jet fuel delivery on Sept. 28, 2017, reducing our fuel bill for FY18 and beyond.”

McConahy hopes this is the beginning of more, similar relationships with other government partners.

“We will deliver 480,000 gallons of Jet A, saving half a million dollars in fiscal year 2018,” McConahy said. “This is a success story that we want to share with other federal agencies.”

Wallops Flight Facility, located on Virginia's Eastern Shore, is NASA's principal facility for management and implementation of suborbital research programs.

“This was a high visibility NASA work project,” Rogers said. “We couldn’t have done it without DLA Energy. The taxpayers would be proud of us.”