Troop Support commander engages local business leaders to share DLA mission, impact

By John Dwyer III DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Members of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce learned more about the mission and impact of the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia at a meeting June 18.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, DLA Troop Support commander, highlighted the agency’s community ties.

“There’s a couple of things I want to tell you upfront,” Simerly said. “We work for you … [and] we are you.”

“By and large, the majority of our teammates here are from Philadelphia,” Simerly said. He said that was a fact “we take great pride in,” citing the workforce’s passion as a driver of the agency’s mission success.

“We operate locally … but we have a global impact,” Simerly said. “Every soldier, every sailor, every airman and every Marine is supported by us wherever they serve in the world.”

Simerly referenced the DLA Strategic Plan to explain how the approximately $8.4 million in business that Troop Support contracted to Philadelphia-area industry partners in fiscal 2017 aided service members, as well as local businesses.

DLA “represents the taxpayer … in support of the military” and other government agencies with a primary focus on “Warfighter First,” ensuring the strength and readiness of the armed services, Simerly said.

The connection resonated with members of the chamber who had family members serving in the military.

“I’m honored to be here today, especially because my son is in the military,” said Denise Ring of Philadelphia Gas Works.

Simerly thanked Ring and the others who echoed her appreciation.

In response to other questions about doing business with DLA, Simerly pointed the business leaders to DLA’s Industry Engagement Plan, which provides the agency’s focus areas and points of contact related to industry engagement.

The meeting increased the chamber’s understanding of the DLA mission and appreciation for Troop Support’s impact.

“I never zeroed in on the word ‘warfighter’ before,” Pam Henshall, president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, said. “I think it sums up a lot what you do at DLA Troop Support.”

The chamber of commerce representatives also toured the flag room, Product Test Center Analytical and medals room.