BATTLE CREEK, Mich –
When Chief Petty Officer Paul Kerr retired from the Navy he never thought he would receive Defense Logistics Agency support again until a West Texas wildfire threatened his hunting cabin.
Reports from the first day stated the Holcombe Road wildfire was very aggressive, burning an estimated 700 acres. The intensity led Crockett County firefighters, who initially responded, to request assistance from the Texas A&M Forest Service. The service maintains a statewide network of strategically-placed teams of firefighters and equipment to respond quickly when the call comes, and some of the equipment comes from DLA Disposition Services.
As the fire grew, threatening Kerr’s cabin, more fire departments came to fight the blaze. The fire burned for 19 days and consumed more than 25,000 acres.
Kerr said firefighters were able to save the buildings as the fire swept across the ranch. After the fire, he discovered from crewmembers that some of the equipment that had been used to save the ranch’s buildings was from DLA Disposition Service.
“Every command I was stationed at we used DRMO for one thing or another,” Kerr said.
He reflected that they would check with the local Defense Reutilization Marketing Office, now known as a DLA Disposition Services field site, to see if the inventory included anything they could use and turn-in items his unit no longer needed.
Kerr said it was interesting that even after retiring and moving back to his native Texas DLA Disposition Services is still having a positive impact on his life.
Firefighting support involves a partnership between DLA Disposition Services, which collects used military equipment, and the U.S. Forest Service, whose state coordinators process requests and help ensure the equipment finds its way to firefighters that can put it to use.
Besides pitching in to fight fires, the Texas A&M Forest Service offers proactive support as well. Their website states personnel study weather patterns, drought cycles and the status of vegetation across the state to predict when and where dangerous fire conditions may occur.