Campaign of Learning event provides insight to industry future capabilities

By Shaun Eagan DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support employees gained insight on industry partners’ future operations and some of the challenges they are facing during an event June 17 in Philadelphia.

The event, a part of the Campaign of Learning initiative, invited representatives from industry to share how future requirements, research and trends will affect Department of Defense customers, and to help supply chain leaders identify capability gaps and think about potential new solutions.

“This event provided an open dialogue between several industry partners and senior leaders from each Troop Support supply chain,” Lauren Colabelli, DLA Troop Support J3/5 Marketing Analyst chief and event organizer, said. “Addressing challenges and discovering industry innovations as they apply to current and future battlefields was the main focus of this event.”

Each presentation opened with discussion on the industry partner’s current practices, and the changes needed to keep up with new requirements. Things such as service member feedback, industry trends or technology developments caused these changes.  

The open dialogue allowed the supply chain and directorate leaders to learn about the challenges their industry partners were facing, and discuss the research and planning that went into finding new solutions. 

Stephen Luckowski, a program manager at Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute, presented Advanced Functional Fabrics of America’s updates on its work transforming clothing material into a highly sophisticated, integrated and networked device and system.

He mentioned that in the upcoming years, textile systems and assemblies will have passive cooling textiles and stitch-free assembly, along with communicating apparel and internet connected apparel. These developments could be available for the Clothing and Textiles supply chain and used in military uniforms.

Ronald Riling, of BOH FPU Systems, discussed how his organization has teams visit service members around the world to get feedback on their storage systems and look for ways to help them do their job more effectively. He said their feedback led to new containers and configurations that resulted in smaller warehousing footprints, better inventory layouts and reduced overall logistical costs.

The insights opened more of the dialogue and cross-talk Colabelli intended.

“These industry experts peaked interests not only from leaders within their related supply chains, but across other directorates and between the industry experts as well,” Colabelli said. “These thought-provoking discussions are meant to provide both immediate and long-term impacts.”

Created in 2018, the CoL encourages employees to think about future sustainment and supply chain solutions. Through quarterly events like this to discuss the near-to-long term challenges facing the sustainment environment, Colabelli intends the benefits of the CoL to have lasting effects.

“Anytime you have any opportunity to bring leadership together in an environment that fosters collaboration is beneficial -- both on an individual and organizational level,” Colabelli said.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, DLA Troop Support commander, closed the event by reiterating that finding new solutions is a team effort, and it will be more depended on more heavily moving forward.

“When the services talk about their expeditionary requirements, dynamic force and emerging expeditionary basing concepts, it’s a demand signal,” Simerly said. “They want us to find innovative ways to enable their mission, allow them to get to the fight, and sustain the fight in a more effective and more efficient manner. This drive for innovation coming up from the bottom is what we're going to continue to see.”

The CoL program’s objective is to connect DLA Troop Support personnel with DOD joint staff, military services, industry and academia experts to discuss near-to-long term challenges facing sustainment environment.