Drawing a record number of attendees and an action-packed agenda, the Defense Logistics Agency Energy 2019 Worldwide Energy Conference succeeded in its efforts to bring together industry, government and military fuel experts and share ideas May 20-22.
Fostering the WWEC theme “Building Stronger Partnerships” attendees forged new working relationships, attended more than 100 informative seminar sessions and networked on the tradeshow convention hall packed with energy-related supplies and customers.
“It’s an incredible opportunity attendees have to hear top industry and military experts discuss the challenges we face, and how, by working together, we can forge ahead into the expanding energy future,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Albert Miller.
David Roddy from Burns & McDonnell, an architecture and design firm specific to military fuel facilities, said it’s like a fuel reunion.
“This is a great opportunity to collaborate with DLA Energy stakeholders. The WWEC is like a family environment where everyone knows one another,” he said.
One key focus of the 2019 WWEC was to highlight small businesses opportunities. Small business owners gathered to learn more about what DLA Energy has to offer in a presentation by the DLA Energy Associate Director of Small Business Greg Thevenin.
In the Small Business Connection forum business owners had a chance to network with each of the various DLA Energy business units to talk one-on-one and learn more from the experts.
“DLA Energy continues to encourage and support the work small businesses perform,” Miller said.
Beyond the focus on small business, attendees could choose from a variety of sessions occurring every hour to learn more about research and development, aerospace energy, installation management, quality and technical support, facility energy, cybersecurity, international fuel agreements, and much more.
DLA Energy International Agreements Dave Lamm said he missed the conference in 2017 but doesn’t plan to miss it again because it’s a great opportunity to network and meet his industry peers.
“I’ve been working for DLA Energy for 10 years, seven years in Turkey as the liaison officer,” Lamm said. “It’s enlightening to see the potential vendors and contractors DLA calls on to support the Warfighter and establish our global posture. The International Agreements personnel have had the opportunity to meet with some of our host nations partners who were attending the event (Australia and United Kingdom).”
DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams kicked off the conference opening networking session where attendees could meet and talk with DLA Energy’s business unit directors.
“DLA Energy is a global organization … and none of it is possible without you,” Williams said. “DLA doesn’t pump the fuel or deliver the product, the bottom line is, you do. The relationship we have with you is paramount to DLA’s success.”
He thanked everyone for coming and for what they contribute to the Department of Defense readiness and whole of government partners. Williams said relationships, networking, innovation and energy foster better ways to do business.
Air Force Maj. Eric Gillespie from U. S. European Command Logistics couldn’t agree more.
“A great conference and very informative. Along with the seminars, it was a great venue to network and hold sidebar discussions that will enable EUCOM’s strategic fuel mission,” he said.
A new DLA Energy command video, produced by DLA Public Affairs Jim Miller, was introduced for the first time to the audience.
In a face-to-face executive panel with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy Lisa Jung and her deputy Oliver Fritz, attendees learned about OSD energy efforts and initiatives. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions about the latest DoD energy programs. Panel speakers spoke on cyber security, operational energy resilience, installation energy resilience, energy performance, emerging technologies and risk management and data analytics.
"Whether the challenge is creating and sustaining energy resilient installations or preparing resilient fuel solutions for the battlefield of 2025, the DLA Energy World Wide Energy Conference is an invaluable event in helping bring together the best of government and industry to address our warfighting community's most pressing energy requirements," Jung said.
We look forward to our continued partnership with DLA Energy as we work together to tackle the many energy challenges facing the department, she said.
“The 2019 WWEC was a tremendous event,” Miller said. “I want everyone to mark their calendars for the next WWEC in 2021 because it will be better than ever. There are so many things this conference offers, mostly the networking opportunities, but also the seminars, service specific briefings and the outstanding tradeshow with a variety of vendors.”
I want to extend my personal thanks to the DLA team who made the WWEC a success; it would not have been possible without the Energy team coming together, he closed.