DLA, services, clothing and textiles vendors ‘synchronize’ warfighter support

By Mikia Muhammad DLA Troop Support Public Affiars

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Synchronizing the Defense Logistics Agency’s warfighter support with industry and military service partners ensures readiness and lethality for future operations, DLA Troop Support’s commander said during a planning brief Nov. 28 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly spoke to nearly 750 DLA employees, American clothing and textiles vendors and military service representatives at DLA Troop Support Clothing and Textiles’ fourth annual Joint Advanced Planning Brief for Industry event.

“When you think about lethality, for me as a career logistician, I think about the requirement for resilient and agile logistics,” Simerly said. “How can we generate greater readiness and lethality today so we’re ready to deliver when called upon in the future?”

This question mirrored the tone of discussions and presentations during the event as C&T and military service leaders gave updates on current business operations and potential future warfighter requirements.

“We know as logisticians that preparation has to happen now for future operations to be successful,” C&T director Air Force Col. Melvin Maxwell said. “This [event] is about our ability to synchronize between the [military] services, DLA and industry to communicate, and coordinate our understanding of what we, as an enterprise, have to do to ensure our collective military services and combatant commands are ready to execute when our nation calls upon them.”

Examples of items DLA has seen an increase in requirements from the military services is chemical protective equipment, flame resistant gear and body armor, C&T Supplier Operations director Steven Merch said.

Merch and Simerly also mentioned their respective appreciation of industry’s support to the Air Force’s transition to the operational camouflage utility uniform and disaster relief assistance.

“As we have generated unanticipated demand [and] new or increased requirements, we have come to industry and you all have responded in many remarkable ways,” Simerly said.

This year’s meeting featured a product development roundtable with military service program representatives. Discussion topics included design, sizing and fabric shade requirements.

“We’re looking for new [material] that features technology we don’t have now,” Tracy Roan from the Air Force Uniform office said.

A second day of breakout meetings allowed for discussions on specific items and procurement topics including dress clothing, camouflage uniforms and value management.

“Without you, DLA could not provide vital support to our warfighters,” event host and C&T Strategic Material Sourcing Chief Donna Pointkouski said to attendees.