Newsletter offers latest DLA R&D news



The July-August issue of The Innovator is now available. The newsletter is electronically published bi-monthly with articles and information on Research and Development projects, updates and upcoming events and activities.


July-August topics are:


  • July-August Theme – DLA Innovation: Prepared for Immediate Action - One of the missions of the DLA R&D is to support LOE #2, Global Posture: Prepared for Immediate Action.  For instance, Strategic Positioning calls for the agency to “position DLA capabilities where the warfighter needs them most.”  R&D strives to work with our DLA and DOD partners to determine any gaps or issues in order to identify projects that will fix and improve logistics to the warfighter.  The goal of the process is to identify technologies and solutions that can be utilized by DLA immediately and in the future. 

  • Chief’s Chat – Global Posture—Supported by Innovation - Around the globe, around the clock, DLA is poised for immediate logistics support to the warfighter. DLA R&D’s objective is to improve the performance of the industrial base, move manufacturing to the next level, and develop new processes and technologies that improve our efficiency and effectiveness.  The overall impact of our successful projects supports DLA’s global posture and warfighter readiness.  

  • R&D Program in the Spotlight – Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Getting Ready for Immediate Use – All the hype can be rather confusing, so let us take a look at one of these areas – robotic process automation.  Robotic process automation (RPA) is an emerging software technology in which computer “bots” mimic human actions to accomplish computer-based activities, enabling employees to spend more time on higher value tasks.  If you are familiar with macros in Microsoft Excel, robotic process automation is similar.  It is like a “script on steroids” because RPA is not bounded in a single application.  Bots can log into applications just as a human employee does and work within and between separate applications.  End-to-end processes can be automated with RPA in total or limited to specific portions.  Start thinking about how robotic process automation may benefit the work you do! 

  • Industry News – Ready to Deliver Vacuum Electron Tubes Capability - DLA Land & Maritime procures and supplies hundreds of Vacuum Electron Tubes, yet the supplier base is relatively small and very specialized.  Although most commercial or military electronic components or devices no longer use these tubes, they are still a key component of some high energy medical/laboratory test equipment, household microwaves, and large radar/communication devices.  Vacuum Electron Tubes use special cathode metals and complex anode collectors to control a high density of electrons moving in vacuum that substantially amplify microwaves, radio spectrum waves, or other electron flows.  The DLA working group will continue to look for new opportunities to leverage R&D in support of this and other DLA supply chains. 

  • Finance Corner – R&D Project Transition - When Innovation Meets Capability - Ready… set… go!  Wait, where are we going?  Through innovation, DLA R&D strives to improve warfighter support, which is realized only when a capability is ready for transition and sustainment. The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) established strategic objectives to transition 40 percent of completing R&D projects. The DLA R&D team is now incorporating the 40 percent transition metric into respective program goals, and developing sound processes to manage project transition over the next year to be truly Ready to Deliver!

Processes for Innovation Project Startup:


  • What constitutes an R&D project? - J68 identifies thoroughly vetted projects aimed at satisfying a vacant capability, in partnership with disparate stakeholders across the federal government, industry and academia. 

  • New R&D Charter Process - The R&D charter is important in that it provides the detailed objectives and outcomes of a project, as well as the cost and timeline, that the sponsoring executive and DLA leadership can agree on.  It also provides the justification for funding, contracting and executing the project.   The J6 Front Door process is now a key part of the review and approval process for those R&D charters.

  • What constitutes an Innovation Team project? - The Innovation Team is J6’s accelerator for innovative projects and concepts.   No one area owns innovation in DLA, but the Innovation team has the mission to connect and grow the community of innovators inside the workforce.  We began by collaborating with a network of partners outside of DLA and then we beg, borrow and steal their most effective concepts.  


R&D Program Managers:

  • Emily Bagis is PM for the Defense Logistics Information Research (DLIR) Program. 
  • Manny Casas is PM for Strategic Distribution and Disposition (SDD) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) Programs. 
  • Tony Delgado is DLA’s R&D Additive Manufacturing (AM) Program Manager. 
  • Gloria Edwards is PM for the Subsistence Network (SUBNET) Program.
  • Lindsey Hicks is lead for the Energy Readiness Program (ERP).
  • Dean Hutchins is the PM for the Casting (PRO-ACT) and Forging (PRO-FAST) R&D programs. 
  • Matt Hutchens primarily conducts manufacturing technology R&D for DLA’s battery supply chain.
  • William Johnson is the PM for the Advanced Microcircuit Emulation (AME) Program. 
  • Denise Price is the PM for the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
  • Julie Tsao is the Program Manager of the Military Unique Sustainment Technology (MUST) Program. 
  • Manuel Vengua is the PM for the Weapon System Sustainment (WSS) Program. 

About Us – J68 Logistics R&D: DLA R&D develops innovative capabilities and processes that improve logistics operations and strengthen the industrial base in support of the warfighter, the agency and the Department of Defense.

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