DLA Aviation builds strong partnerships through customer engagement

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Customer Relationship Management Cell team members in the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Army Customer Facing Division traveled North Jan. 14 in support of the soldiers assigned to the 12th Aviation Battalion “Wings of Freedom” at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  The Army division is one of five customer facing divisions under the Customer Operations Directorate, each supporting one of our military services and the nation’s nuclear enterprise.

Customer engagement visits, part of ongoing interactions between DLA and its customers, ensure close collaboration between the DLA Aviation workforce and its customers in an attempt to synchronize unit readiness and lethality.

“With the valuable support of unit command leadership, engagements and training during these visits, we share lessons learned with unit logisticians and maintenance managers,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer Jose Sánchez. Sánchez has been assigned to DLA Aviation since 2018 and is the division’s aviation readiness officer coordinating the outreach program.

“Our Unit Outreach Program supports DLA’s Strategic Plan which promotes an agency-wide joint logistics partnership,” he said. “Our primary focus is to help improve organizational logistics and improve mission readiness and teamwork.

“Many of these units have no idea what we as DLA do and how DLA can assist them,” said Calvin Lawrence, a customer account specialist in the division. “Our visits allow us to explain, who DLA is, what DLA does, and how DLA can assist them with their supply chain needs. We are building a partnership with the unit to enhance supply chain management continuity. The biggest take away is for the soldiers to understand that DLA exists to support the warfighter and their supply chain needs.”

The 12th Aviation Battalion is part of the Army Aviation Brigade, Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, U.S. Army Military District of Washington.

The battalion provides a fleet of helicopters for civilian and senior military leaders transport and provides operational airlift for such tactical units as the Military District of Washington’s 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the 12th’s own technical rescue unit, the 911th Engineer Company.

Sánchez, and Morayma Luckett, who works as a customer account specialist in the division, briefed soldiers assigned to the battalion on the DLA Aviation mission, its basic business, and organizational warfighter global support.  In turn, unit members and senior leaders within the battalion’s command group, along with Army Chief Warrant Officer Rudy Mendez, 12th Aviation Battalion, aviation maintenance officer, highlighted key aspects of the unit’s mission and its readiness drivers for the aviation team.

Unit attendees included maintenance and accountable officers, logistics specialists, maintenance and government contractors, as well as, DLA Headquarters National Account Manager Readiness Officer Army Chief Warrant Officer Sonia Sanders.

The training provided helped and guided Supply Support Activity soldiers in reviewing authorized stockage lists, identifying friction points, requisitioning procedures and obtaining direct site support, said Luckett.

“This engagement represented a tremendous learning opportunity for the unit and the DLA Army Aviation Team,” said Mendez. “The engagement helped increase mission readiness, knowledge to decrease non-mission capable supplies and established strong working relationships between the unit and DLA.”

At the completion of their visit, Delta Company Commander Army Capt. Michael O'Connor presented the DLA Aviation engagement team with the unit commander’s Dragon Coin for excellence in support.

Upcoming DLA Aviation Army Customer Facing Division engagements include the 12th Aviation Battalion Black Hawk aircraft orientation visit to Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia; participation in the quarterly aviation synchronization meeting at Fort Rucker, Alabama; and the semi-annual Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) 101 Conference at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.