International roadshow educates Philadelphia employees about regional counterparts

By Alexandria Brimage-Gray Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support

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Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support employees provides warfighter support, not just from its headquarters in Philadelphia, but across the world.

DLA Troop Support regional commanders hosted a roadshow forum Feb. 25 to educate their Philadelphia counterparts on their respective missions, unique roles and opportunities that exist within DLA Troop Support Indo-Pacific and Europe and Africa regions.

Troop Support Indo-Pacific Commander Navy Cmdr. Shani Leblanc opened the forum by explaining the mission, geography, organizational structure and accomplishments of her region.

“We have a unique perspective to sit-in with all the [military] services to offer solutions for all commodities,” Leblanc said. “For the last three years in a row, the Indo-Pacific region has provided over $1 billion in sales to DLA Troop Support.”

Leblanc explained that as the agency has sought to operationalize its employees to better meet customer requirements, her organization has realigned itself as well.

“To facilitate the increase in the number of requirements in the region, we have added a planner, which is something that we never had before,” she said. “We took an old position, and revamped the job description to fulfill these specific needs.”

Leblanc described that everyone’s role is critical to the success of the organization’s mission, but the unique role that the forward logistics specialists play in her area of operations is vital to the customer.

“They [forward logistics specialists] are the unicorns of Troop Support and only exist in the Indo-Pacific,” she said. “They sit down at the table with a customer to talk smartly about the capabilities of every commodity.

“Dually hatted, they serve as the contracting officer representative to facilitate customer requirements and are the face of DLA Troop Support to customers in the region,” she continued.

Whether a new or a seasoned employee looking to broaden their career, Leblanc believes the FLS opportunity in her region is the right job.

“This is a great opportunity for employees with Subsistence and Construction and Equipment supply chain experience in Philadelphia to gain real-world experience with customers in different operational environments, expand their knowledge and work with all the Troop Support commodities at the same time,” she said.

DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa Commander Army Lt. Col. Sherdrick Rankin was also on hand to share the mission, civilian employee incentives and culture of his region.

“What is unique about our organization is that about half of our employees have come out of Philadelphia,” Rankin said. “Having that experience of employees from the various regions, enables us to track and facilitate communication when handling operational rations, holiday meals, special tents, health certificates or storage issues to meet the requirements of exercises and operations in the region.”

For employees interested in working in Germany, Rankin stated that his region provides some perks, including close proximity to other European countries.

 “For about $15, employees can travel to different countries within the region to learn about their cultures and traditions,” he said.

Next to “Warfighter Support,” Rankin shared that the “People and Culture” Line of Effort from Troop Support’s fiscal year 2020 Campaign Plan is very important to him, in his region.

“Each month, we recognize our employees for their accomplishments and celebrate employee birthdays by going down to their office to sing to them, or provide a handwritten note after a birth or death announcement,” he said.

Felix Leon, an INDOPACOM planner in the Troop Support operations directorate shared how what he learned will assist him in his duties of planning support for exercises in the region.

“It helped me out immensely because it shows me how everything [aligns] in terms of operations,” Leon said. “This [roadshow] provides a bigger picture of who, and what is going on where, [and] which individuals I need to interact with. [It also] provided the information needed for me to ask better questions to facilitate service requirements.”