Distribution commanding officer welcomes CYALDG during annual meeting

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Command Affairs

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The Cumberland York Area Local Defense Group hosted their first meeting of 2019 Jan. 28, at DLA Distribution headquarters, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.  DLA Distribution commander Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones welcomed the group and provided an update on how the organization supports its military customers and the Pennsylvania economy.

Jones began his overview discussing the wide scope of Distribution’s footprint before drilling down to the local area.

“The current workforce across the worldwide DLA Distribution network is approximately 10,000 employees working in 50 locations, located in 20 states and eight countries,” explained Jones. “Three of those CONUS locations are within Pennsylvania—New Cumberland, Mechanicsburg and Tobyhanna. These locations contribute nearly $285 million in local contracts within the state and employ over 2,200 employees earning $250 million in wages.”

Jones touched on changes that have been made to the installation since the groups’ last visit in January 2018. “The installation has been busy with the construction of a new reservoir and upgrades to the building housing our police department.”

Additionally, Jones spoke to the elimination of the installations family housing due to reduced usage. As of the end of October 2018, all housing had been vacated. The oldest units, built in the 1930’s are being prepared for demolition, while 14 newer units will be repurposed to administrative offices.

Jones announced to the group that on Jan. 4, 2019, DLA—specifically Distribution, and U.S. Transportation Command were selected as the F-35 Global Transportation and North American Warehousing provider for the program.

“This is the first time a major DOD Logistics Command has been selected to support the F-35 program…its historical and unprecedented,” said Jones. “We are viewing this as an opportunity for DLA Distribution to support this major weapons system for the next 50 years.”

Jones went on to say “We are in a pivotal time here at Distribution. Being assigned the F-35 Global Distribution and North American Warehousing …that’s huge. That’s historical.”

Moving forward, Jones stressed the importance of modernization within the Distribution enterprise. He explained how Distribution worked closely with a logistics consulting firm, which allowed for a better understanding of modernization options and the ability to leverage the successes found throughout the commercial sector.

“Our modernization opportunity promises increased efficiencies, reduced costs and improved support to the warfighter,” Jones said.

Jones furthered the conversation with talk about the Warehouse Management System refresher project at DLA Distribution Corpus Christi, Texas, which has been facilitated by Distribution’s Future Operations directorate.

The WMS pilot went live at the Corpus Christi distribution center in June 2018 and is slated for completion by the end of this fiscal year. The refresh will leverage new technologies to enhance the software platform Distribution uses.

The other half of WMS is Transportation Management System.

“The Distribution team has been working with the United States Transportation Command since July 2018 on their TMS pilot efforts.  As USTRANSCOM’s largest customer, we are a critical partner and need to make certain all Distribution equities are adequately addressed so we can better understand how TMS will impact our processes and personnel,” explained Jones.

Distribution has spent the past six months mapping out transportation processes alongside USTRANSCOM counterparts as part of the overall blueprinting effort. Teams are currently in the process of conducting site visits and engaging with transportation points of contact at DLA Distribution Puget Sound, Washington, DLA Distribution San Joaquin, California and DLA Distribution Pearl Harbor to better understand the process and gain additional insight into possible challenges.

Closing out his welcoming remarks to the CYALDG, Jones touched on distribution's efforts during the 2018 hurricane season. “During Hurricane Florence, our expeditionary team on the ground at Fort A.P. Hill and Maxwell Air Force Base, processed over 1,000 trailers, and distributed nearly 8.5 million liters of water and 8.73 million meals to assist the victims.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team and what they do for humanitarian missions around the world,” Jones said.

Following the opening remarks, the CYALDG held their business meeting, discussing ways to coordinate, advocate, develop and implement recommendations to enhance the military value of the installations in the area. These installations include the Carlisle Barracks, the Naval Support Activity, Mechanicsburg and the Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna, New Cumberland.

The Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission approached the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation in 2014 to establish the CYALDG. The CAEDC believes that by creating and sustaining a successful CYALDG the area will be able to proactively identify and resolve issues affecting Pennsylvania military installations in Cumberland and Northern York Counties.