Troop Support commander meets with Distribution leadership

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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DLA Troop Support commander Army Brig. Gen. Mark T. Simerly visited DLA Distribution headquarters Aug. 7, for an overview of DLA Distribution, a roundtable discussion and a tour of DLA Distribution Susquehanna’s Eastern Distribution Center, the largest storage facility in the Department of Defense.

After an office call with Distribution commanding officer Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones, Simerly met with key Distribution staff to receive an organizational overview highlighting DLA Distribution’s global footprint, with particular focus on the how Distribution and Troop Support collaborate in support of the warfighters around the world.

Beginning the session, Distribution’s director of Future Plans, Scott Rosbaugh expressed the integral partnership between Distribution and Troop Support. “Know this up front, day to day we have great relationships with your action officers.”

During the round table discussion, the two leaders and Distribution headquarters staff discussed collaboration and their mutual goals.

One of the key partnerships between Distribution and Troop support falls under the medical supply chain. Each year Troop Support purchases millions of doses of the flu vaccine, enough to distribute to and vaccinate the warfighters around the world. Once purchased, those vaccines are shipped from the vendor to DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania’s cold chain storage where they await requisition. Susquehanna will then package the vaccines using very strict protocol and ship them out worldwide to the warfighters.

Additionally, the two Major Subordinate Commands worked together during the 2017 hurricane season when the southeastern portion of the United States was hit with three major storms back to back. Troop Support provided more than 40 million liters of water, more than 22 million meals, as well as other commodities such as tarps, cots, blankets, sheeting and hygiene kits. These supplies were distributed from Distribution warehouses and sent out to Intermediate Staging Base’s in Texas, Alabama and North Carolina where the DLA Distribution Expeditionary teams were in place to process the supplies for distribution to those affected by the storms.

Wrapping up the roundtable, Simerly expressed his gratitude to everyone for taking the time to meet with him and discuss current and future partnerships between Distribution and Troop Support. “I am really impressed with the deliberation that went into this tailored discussion. You really drew out key points where we collaborate and can improve our collaboration and support to the warfighters, as well as upholding our accountability.”

“Our narrative is a little different than yours,” explained Simerly. “I am really impressed with the extent that you understand our culture - the way we see the world, the way we measure things, the way we do things and what drives that.”

Following the morning’s discussions, DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania commander Army Col. James M. Callis escorted Simerly and Jones on a tour of the EDC as well as a stop at the cold chain facility in order for the Troop Support commander to understand the process of the receiving, storage and shipping of the flu vaccines his MSC purchases each year for the warfighter.