Air Force policy leader: Troop Support is ‘lifeblood of U.S. military’

By Mikia Muhammad DLA Troop Support Public Affiars

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An Air Force policy leader commended Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s supply chain logistics during a visit to the organization March 14.

From one Airman who has been out there in the trenches supporting the warfighter, the job that you, and the folks that work with you, do on a daily basis to help supply and sustain the United States military is absolutely incredible,” said Maj. Gen. Robert LaBrutta, director of Military Force Management Policy, under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services. “You’re the lifeblood of the military.”

LaBrutta travelled from the U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and is responsible for establishing force management policies for more than 500,000 Air Force military personnel.

While at DLA Troop Support, senior leaders briefed LaBrutta on their respective supply chain’s support to military service partners and humanitarian assistance efforts. Troop Support is comprised of Subsistence, Clothing and Textiles, Construction and Equipment, Medical and Industrial Hardware supply chains.

Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly expressed gratitude for LaBrutta’s visit.

“We truly benefit from every visit we have, as we learn a new way to look at a problem set, and [see] the way the services’ receives a challenge, so the benefit of this visit is ours,” Simerly said.

LaBrutta was impressed with the scope of Troop Support’s mission.

“You don’t know until you get to see it, that it’s an amazing mission set you all have,” LaBrutta said.

One of the mission sets LaBrutta has witnessed up close is Clothing and Textiles’ support to the Air Force as it transitions to wearing the operational camouflage pattern utility uniform.

“The reason why I’m up here is I want to thank you all, the leaders of the folks that make this happen, because we would not have been successful without the incredible effort, dedication and professionalism that you all have played in making this happen,” LaBrutta said.

C&T successfully supported the first iteration of the 30-month rollout in October 2018. So far, the OCP utility uniform has been fielded to 14 Army and Air Force Exchange Service sales stores, in addition to supporting Airmen on deployment and those in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

“As we look through the next few months, and the rest of fiscal 2019, we want to make sure we have a very good executable plan moving forward,” C&T Director Air Force Col. Melvin Maxwell said.

C&T representatives, LaBrutta and other Air Force counterparts continue to coordinate weekly on ensuring Airmen have access to uniforms in time for the mandatory wear date of April 2021. LaBrutta said the meetings help him understand constraints and barriers, and allow the organizations to work together towards solutions.

“You’ve leaned forward to help the United States Air Force do what it needs to do,” LaBrutta said. “I want you all to know that I know, you all did extraordinary work.”

LaBrutta personally thanked key team members from C&T’s contracting, customer and planning divisions and presented them with coins.

C&T leadership was appreciative of the recognition.

“I certainly appreciate you telling the entire team that you appreciate their efforts because it was a little rocky in the beginning, but I think we gave it all that we got, so that’s certainly a good thing,” C&T Deputy Director Roy Dillard said.