Expeditionary leaders meet in Battle Creek

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

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As many prepare for the holidays, military reserve leaders and civilian staff who support Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services prepared for the future as they conducted their annual Expeditionary Force Leadership Huddle Dec. 6 to 8.

Huddle participants gathered at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center which allows the mostly--Reserve military leaders who manages the agency’s disposition support units an opportunity to meet with each other and civilian staff in Battle Creek, Michigan, who support them. The meetings help ensure focus areas and priorities for the fiscal year stay aligned.

“This huddle is about us,” said Navy Capt. Orlando Lorié, new joint team leader for DLA Disposition Services.

Sessions involved reviews of the agency’s strategic plan, leadership topics, mobilization and readiness details, military service updates and annual training briefs. Priorities discussed this year included ensuring personnel are ready to deploy when needed, training on property disposal and mission essential tasks, and helping with production support as needed. Earlier this year, DSU members were sent help the DLA Disposition Services staff at Eglin AFB, Florida, deal with mountains on material generated from hurricane damage at Tyndall AFB.

“Our focus is on training,” Lorié said. “It’s important to get it right.”

The group also heard from Navy Capt. Roger Musselman, chief of staff for the DLA Joint Reserve Force, who gave an overview of the JRF that noted only 4% of the people supporting DLA are in uniform, active duty or reserve. Other key points included the 93% fill rate, 19 mobilizations to support the DLA mission, and the 12 global exercises supported. A military exercise in Kosovo last summer included the first forward deployment of an Expeditionary Site Support set that gives deploying personnel what they need to quickly set up and provide disposal support in contingencies. 

Participants also heard from DLA Disposition Services Director Mike Cannon during a Dec. 7 breakfast meeting. Cannon talked of the importance of good leadership communications to “increase the value of our Joint Reserve Force integration.” He also stressed the importance of ensuring qualified service members as he discussed his priorities. Cannon also discussed the increased emphasis on using civilian staff availability to support on-site training initiatives for reserve team members and researching new forklift simulators for aid in training.

Training was discussed again on the last day as unit leaders and staff shared tips automating personnel records management, managing training schedules and favorite online resources. Online references discussed included the Digital DSR, its Schoolhouse resources and the Turn-In Smart Book.

Before wrapping up the event, Lorié said he hoped to get out to units regularly and has two visits already planned for early 2020. He thanked them for taking time away from families to be there.

“This weekend, I wanted to make it meaningful, it wasn’t just about bringing people here,” Lorié said. “Hopefully, you guys have a way forward.”