DLA Aviation leaders visit Troop Support

By Christian Deluca DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Senior leaders from the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Ogden and Richmond visited DLA Troop Support in Philadelphia, Aug. 14, to get a better understanding of the organization’s mission and to foster relationships with their corresponding supply chains.

Air Force Col. Gabriel Lopez, DLA Aviation Ogden commander, Air Force Col. John Gustafson and Marine Corps Col. Larry Herring, the DLA Aviation Richmond Air Force and Marine Corps Customer Facing Division chiefs, respectively, received an overview of DLA Troop Support operations and briefings from the Construction and Equipment and Industrial Hardware supply chains.

Richard Ellis, DLA Troop Support Deputy Commander, put into perspective how the work of the organization effects the military services on a daily basis.

“At DLA Aviation, your mission is to support specific weapon systems,” Ellis said. “We really see the airman, Marine, soldier and sailor as being our weapon system. We touch their lives every day. Whether it’s the uniforms, body armor, food, medicine … our job is to keep the service member up and running.”

While meeting with C&E, the group discussed a number of topics, including the supply chain’s recent uptick in sales, their commercial programs and their customer engagements. Supply chain leaders also explained the massive efforts they can be tasked with during times of disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

“When (Hurricane) Maria took out Puerto Rico’s power grid, we sent more than 1,200 generators to power hospitals, schools and administration buildings,” said Thomas Grace, C&E deputy director. “Working with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, we sent over 36 million individual pieces from poles to cabling, wiring and transformers. It was a logistics exercise like no other.”

The DLA Aviation team spent most of their time with IH because of their mission in acquiring repair parts for their customers.

Air Force Col. Adrian Crowley, IH director, and other supply chain leaders spoke about their long-term contract programs, efforts with military depots and other topics regarding their mission.

Crowley emphasized IH’s strong partnership with DLA Aviation allows the supply chain to support the high demand for repair parts efficiently and economically.

He also spoke about the proud heritage that DLA Troop Support has with Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, and how that can be seen in its workforce.

“In the two years I’ve been here, I’ve had several employees retire after 46 years. They come as interns here and 46 years later they’re with the same team,” he said. “It’s just one big family here in Philly. If you haven’t picked up on their passion yet, you have a very Philly-proud, Philly-strong workforce here.”