DLA Troop Support expedites urgent order for armored bulldozers

By Beth Reece

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Contract specialists at Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support are meeting a customers’ urgent need for 16 armored bulldozers in four months rather than the year it would normally take.

The Army’s Tank-automotive and Armaments Command requested the bulldozers for a Foreign Military Sales Program customer who needs the dozers to support the fight against Islamic militants in Syria. They will be delivered incrementally March through mid-May.

DLA Troop Support’s Heavy Equipment Procurement Program team received the request Jan. 23. The order arrived with no indication of urgency, but on Jan. 29, HEPP employees became aware the dozers were needed immediately. Robert Spadaro, HEPP supervisor and program manager, got vendors on the phone Jan. 30.

“Normally, we solicit customer requirements for about two weeks. We didn’t want to wait that long in this case, so we streamlined the process but made sure we still maintained competition and followed our normal playbook,” he said.

Vendors juggled their schedules to provide proposals Jan. 31 and an award was made later that day. Details on what the dozers will be used for are not available, but Spadaro’s work, along with that of Susanne McHale, chief of the Move and Store Division in DLA Troop Support’s Directorate of Construction and Equipment, and Contracting Officer Michelle Diak, drew praise from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation.

“We’re proud to support the fight and help U.S. efforts in Iraq and Syria,” McHale said.

The bulldozers have been used by foreign troops in the Middle East as a mobile barricade when advancing in combat and to clear obstacles and debris. They are equipped with armored plating reinforcements to help protect against explosives and shield drivers.

A strong relationship with heavy equipment suppliers who already source items for U.S. military customers made quick turnaround of the $14 million order possible, McHale added.

“The five-year, long-term contracts we have in place with major vendors helps us build a strong alliance so vendors take our priorities seriously,” she said.

The Heavy Equipment Procurement Program includes about 70 contracts through which DLA Troop Support purchases commercial heavy equipment like cranes, trailers, and fire and emergency vehicles.