DLA Aviation town hall highlights coming changes

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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A special Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander’s Town Hall March 4 brought a full house to the Frank P. Lotts Conference Center on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia.

DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford addressed several issues including supply chain realignment, the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Year of Accountability and a special award.

Sanford opened the town hall with a discussion on supply chain realignment to be implemented in phases over the next three years. The realignment will include reassigning 463,000 national stock numbers from the Industrial Hardware supply chain to other agency subordinate commands.

With the Industrial Hardware mission moving from DLA Troop Support, the NSNs will be absorbed and transferred between DLA Aviation and DLA Land and Maritime. “Troop Support will leverage their Industrial Hardware team to focus on growing Whole of Government support,” Sanford said

“As you may be aware, DLA has launched a focused series of reform initiatives to drive down costs for the taxpayer while continuing to provide effective logistics support to the military Services and federal government partners,” Sanford said in his communication. “DLA’s efforts target reductions in both material and operating costs, as well as improve DLA’s price to our customers.”

This will impact multiple directorates, he explained. The realignment will be placed under both Daniele Kurze, director, Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate; and James ‘Travis’ Beasley, director, Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate.

DLA Aviation’s workforce will grow, with approximately 175 permanent positions to be filled by current employees, internal management reassignments and new hires. “With these new stock numbers, the agency further aligns stock numbers to the major subordinate commands primarily responsible for aviation, land or maritime support.” Sanford said.

This initiative, driven by Office of the Secretary of Defense Reform, includes DLA’s reform goal to achieve a lower composite cost recovery rate for customers. The expected outcomes of the realignment include increased effectiveness and efficiencies while adhering to current reform initiatives.

Next, Sanford addressed the current cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and outlined DLA Headquarters and DLA Aviation’s married approach to tracking developments as well as communicating changes or decisions that may affect operations.

“We’re monitoring to protect our workforce, and we will stay engaged with Headquarters, state and local health officials on COVID-19 infection concerns,” Sanford said. Official travel outside the United States can only be authorized by aviation’s Commander, Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff.

For official U.S. travel, Sanford and other leaders recommend choosing teleconference options instead.

“We need to be safe and proactive,” he said. Otherwise, in personal interactions and everyday operations, employees should follow hygiene practices that help reduce or eliminate the spread of illness. These include washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and drying them thoroughly, avoiding close contact with sick people and staying home when sick.

Fiscal 2020 is the Year of Accountability, and Sanford reviewed the related calendar with the audience. This calendar is a living document, and it can be updated as needed to reflect the latest offerings or changes to scheduled offerings, he explained.  The Year of Accountability focuses on holding ourselves, the Services and industry responsible and aviation is committed to providing the tools to make our workforce successful in this endeavor. 

The calendar will be housed on the Commander’s Page in DLA Aviation’s eWorkplace to facilitate access and as-needed updates. Monthly updates of scheduled offerings will be sent to aviation employees.

At the end of the town hall, Sanford spoke about the Joint Meritorious Unit Award that was given to DLA by Defense Secretary Mark Esper for exceptional performance, logistical support to the military services, federal agencies and foreign military partners during warfighting and humanitarian assistance operations and disaster relief efforts from Sept. 16, 2014 -Dec. 31, 2018.

All military and civilian federal employees assigned to DLA for at least 30 days during the award period will receive the following recognition: a service ribbon for military members, a lapel pin for civilians and a unit streamer for the DLA Flag.

In the questions portion of the town hall, attendees learned that DLA is seeking to award a contract to a local vendor for the cafeteria, similar to what other major subordinate commands and Headquarters DLA have done. The move is expected to be more cost effective and provide increased meal options for the workforce.  Current employees will have opportunities for employment with the new contractor, once selected.

“It’s meant to provide the workforce with more options, opportunities and lower costs,” said Sanford.