Disposal specialists surge to support Army readiness in NY

By Jake Joy DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

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The U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division and its 2nd Brigade Combat Team got much-needed Defense Logistics Agency assistance from a DLA Disposition Services North-East region surge team in June during a major equipment turnover evolution at Fort Drum in upstate New York.

Rob DeLong, a Fort Drum-based agency property disposal specialist, was joined by fellow region staffers Nick Papciak and Rodney Stubbs, and Area Manager Brandon Meyer, who all leaned in to provide nearly 500 man hours of divestiture support throughout the month.

Meyer said the request for support originated from U.S. Army Forces Command via DLA agency headquarters, and the division was said to be looking for “immediate relief of property accountability.” Property began trickling in at the start of the year, and DeLong worked with the Army during the winter months to prepare additional yard space adjacent to the agency’s existing scrap lot at Fort Drum. Once pandemic travel and business restrictions took hold throughout Defense Department facilities in late March, the agency worked with the Army to determine a preferred timeframe for closing out the project.

“We essentially transformed the Fort Drum site into a temporary cross-dock to provide relief,” Meyer said, explaining that commands there will typically prepare, pack and ship their turn-in items to a full service property disposal hub like the Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, site with local rep Delong’s guidance. In this case, the personnel surge was approved by DLA leadership to help the Army more quickly remove items from its property accounting books by having its own experts navigate paperwork and processes. “We said ‘come on in, just bring the property in,’ and we took it, packed it and shipped it to our site at Letterkenny.”

DeLong said this is the fifth or sixth time he can recall a “tiger team” coming to Fort Drum to help the 10th Mountain Division’s combat brigade teams prepare for deployment rotations through large-scale property divestiture.

“It was successful. We brought a lot of stuff in,” DeLong said, noting that the quantity of rolling stock turned in exceeded some of the initial projections. He said six of eight 20-foot containers of potentially reusable property had already shipped to the Letterkenny site for final processing and some property had already been made available for transfer, sale or donation.

Additionally, DeLong said the team made extensive use of the agency’s mobile office, a still-developmental all-in-one portable system with a computer, printer and scanner mean to significantly improve the efficiency of specialists who take responsibility for property turn-overs at field locations.

“We really put that mobile office through its paces,” DeLong said.

10th Mountain Division elements located at Fort Drum include the headquarters and headquarters elements, the 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams, the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, division artillery components and a sustainment brigade.