Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Aug. 16, 2019 —
As a senior operations research analyst in the Defense Logistics Agency’s Nuclear Enterprise Support Office, Mark Melius conducts in-depth data-analysis studies and data-mining operations that help the agency’s senior leaders improve DLA’s support to the Defense Department’s nuclear enterprise.
Established in January 2015, the DLA NESO was stood up by then DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch so the agency could fully respond to the needs of the Air Force and Navy nuclear communities. The NESO mission focuses on maintaining and providing awareness of sustainment operations for DoD’s nuclear and space systems.
“I joined NESO in June 2015 as part of the team’s build-out to support [the director’s] guidance for DLA to formally support improving the readiness of the Air Force’s nuclear weapon systems,” Melius said.
But his DLA career spans 20 years; 17 years as a civilian with DLA Logistics Operations and three years as an Army senior military operations research analyst at the DLA Office of Operations Research and Resource Analysis in Richmond, Virginia. Before that, he served 22 years in the Army.
Melius’s favorite part of working for DLA has been access to data and analytic tools, allowing him to scan all of DLA’s supply chains and business processes to assess the agency’s ability to effectively support warfighters.
He also appreciates the ability to develop and present analytic and fact-based recommendations to senior leaders that help influence resource and asset-allocation decisions.
One of his best memories is conducting a cost assessment for the Army that identified critically at-risk National Item Identification Numbers and associated weapon systems for the logistics planning and congressional funding justifications for Operation Desert Storm.
Melius knows he makes a difference in his job because he’s been able to apply his and his oldest son’s experiences of being a direct military customer of DLA’s support.
The nuclear enterprise faces the challenge of low-density and aged weapon systems, built with outdated technology and engineering data that may be unavailable, making needed repair parts difficult to obtain, Melius said.
Improving the nation’s readiness and sustainment of nuclear weapons systems is a top priority for DoD and DLA, he added, and DLA has invested over $150 million in inventory to improve material support.
“Both the Air Force and Navy are in process of modernizing their weapons system platforms,” Melius said. “DLA is fully engaged with both services in developing supportability concepts for each weapons system modernization effort.”