Troop Support commander encourages open, candid dialogue with American clothing, textiles manufacturers

By Mikia Muhammad DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Warfighter support, strong partnerships and performance were key objectives of the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s fiscal 2019 campaign plan, the commander discussed with American clothing and textiles manufacturers Feb. 27.

Army Brig. Gen Mark Simerly and Clothing and Textiles supply chain senior leaders hosted industry representatives to encourage open and candid dialogue about the parties’ integrated mission of warfighter support, Simerly said. Simerly referenced the campaign plan to illustrate how industry contributes to DLA Troop Support’s mission.

“We’re constantly looking to industry to inform us of where there are opportunities to innovate with our internal processes that affect you,” Simerly said to industry representatives. “Or if there’s innovation in terms of products or manufacturing we should be aware of that could benefit the [military] services.”

Innovation was a key theme of discussion as C&T Director Air Force Col. Melvin Maxwell also mentioned how industry representatives can help Troop Support balance customer requirements for items and adequate inventory levels in the long-term.

“We’re looking at this from a DLA perspective as we move forward,” Maxwell said. “How we do business, and being able to innovate as we go forward … how do we rely on industry to be as nimble as possible to ensure we meet the requirements we have while also increasing inventory levels?”

Simerly encouraged industry partners to continuously provide Troop Support feedback throughout the year.

“We want to hear from you on how we can support our common mission better, and also how we can support all of the industries that you represent and American workers,” Simerly said. “You help us see ourselves and certainly help us see the industry, and we certainly value the input,” Simerly said.

Industry attendees included representatives from the National Council of Textile Organizations, Warrior Protection & Readiness Coalition and the American Apparel and Footwear Association.

“It’s amazing what we’ve accomplished with the open transparency [Troop Support] shares,” Erik Cobham, NCTO government textile committee co-chair, said.

John Key, Source America senior products account executive, said he was proud to be a part of the warfighter support supply chain.

“We appreciate the partnership and support we feel with DLA Troop Support, and also our industry partners,” Key said. “We’re a part of the supply chain and very interested in working as a part of that supply chain to meet the needs of the warfighter. And we’re very proud of that position.”