Leaders share benefits of divestiture

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

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Senior leaders for DLA Disposition Services joined Thomas W. Harker, assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management and comptroller, and Navy Vice Adm. Dixon Smith, deputy chief of naval operations, fleet readiness and logistics, for their audit roadshow March 27 and 28.

Mike Cannon, DLA Disposition Services director, and some of his senior leaders joined in the outreach to installation and tenant leadership teams in Northeast Florida. A news release from Navy Southeast Region Public Affairs said the roadshow included an encouragement for commanders throughout the Navy to remove excess inventory, and Cannon and his team were there to say how they can help.

Cannon said that Harker and Smith made it very apparent the importance of the upcoming audit to the Navy was not just for the sake of an audit, but to improve Navy readiness. 

“Having an accurate account of, and controls over, inventory operating materials and supplies is a crucial component of this,” Cannon said. “DLA Disposition Services is playing a key role in the divestiture of excess and obsolete parts the Navy is uncovering during the Materiel Discovery phase of their audit readiness process.”

Although his command’s part of the process is at the end of the Navy’s, Cannon explained that it is no less critical. 

“We’re full partners with our Navy shipmates on this effort,” Cannon said.

As his staff has done with Army and Marine Corps divestiture efforts, Cannon said they are getting involved with the Navy on the huge planning effort at the very beginning.  He said this early involvement will allow DLA Disposition Services to better support the Navy’s efforts.

“The metrics we’ll use to measure our success as partners in the effort are whatever metrics the Navy is using,” Cannon said.  “If the Navy is not successful, neither are we.”

Kathy Atkins-Nunez, DLA Disposition Services South-East Region director, believes the information presented by both Harker and Smith “helped set the tone.”   She said session questions ranged from, “Who do we send our info to?” and “Can a consolidation point be established for … turn-ins?”

Moving forward, Atkins-Nunez said the discussion established the Navy’s expectation for all of their leaders, not just the supply officers. She said the talks also showed the Navy leadership that DLA Disposition Services is there to support them. 

“Vice Adm. Smith was quick to point out that five layers of Disposition Services personnel, from the director to the local disposal service representative, were in attendance,” Atkins-Nunez said.  “A clear indication of how serious we are about supporting their efforts.” 

Atkins-Nunez said there were not a lot of individuals asking Disposition Services related questions after each session, “but there were some people who came over to ask questions or get a business card.”

Cannon said the briefings went well. An email he received from Smith thanked the DLA Disposition Services team for their support of the roadshows.

“I have personally learned a lot from you all,” Smith wrote.  “I know, based upon feedback, that you and your folks have been very well received. The Navy is better for your teaming and your efforts.”

Leaders from DLA Disposition Services will continue to support the audit roadshows as they continue in other states. An April 2 story also shows how representatives have visited with Navy officials multiple times since late January for training and coordination, and to provide disposal guidance, to create a disposal playbook that should help with divestiture throughout the Navy’s worldwide footprint.