BATTLE CREEK, Mich –
Defense Logistics Agency employees in Hawaii recently partnered with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, to clean house during Operation Lightning Purge.
After years of missions in Afghanistan, units in the 25th ID had excess equipment no longer needed. The units would return from a deployment, reset their equipment, train their soldiers and then redeploy, explained Kirk Buckner, area manager of DLA Disposition Services at Pearl Harbor.
“Several years’ worth of excess had been accumulating, and divestiture of this excess was a low priority for many subordinate units within the 25th,” Buckner said.
That priority changed last December when Col. Anthony Walters with the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade met with DLA Disposition Services’ Pacific region leadership seeking support for the 25th ID.
“Early in the planning we had some great meetings and were able to put a plan in place, including Army transportation of the property to our site,” Buckner said.
Buckner, Planning with the Army and training soldiers in the months before the operation was key, Buckner added. In March, the 25th ID’s logistics director had all of the property book owners, supply types and other unit representatives meet in a theatre at Schofield Barracks.
The team from DLA Disposition Services was on hand to present “DLA 101” training and provided resources such as the property turn in “Smart Book” to the units.
The date for the purge was set for the first week in June. Buckner said the 25th ID planned on turning in 1,841 pieces of equipment to the DLA team. When the operation ended, soldiers had turned in 2,028 pieces. Buckner praised the whole team for stepping up during the operation.
“Melchor Bontog, Abel Castaneda and Brian Rowlette were instrumental in vetting documentation before and during the rodeo,” Buckner said.
Units were asked during the planning to send advance turn-in paperwork for review, which helped vet the documents.
“We were able to ensure forms were properly filled out and had additional certifications if required,” Buckner said.
Bontog said he oversaw a lot of rolling stock and electronic equipment turn ins by the Army. The soldiers were happy to be able to get rid of their excess equipment.
“It looks like Lightning Purge was a success,” Walters said. “The team did an outstanding job supporting the event. Soldiers were fully prepared and ready to execute. We could not ask for a better outcome from this first-time initiative.”
Looking back, Buckner said “Working with the leadership of 25th ID and 402nd AFSB has been great, and we look to continue to strengthen that partnership.”