Land and Maritime commander talks Ohio’s support to national defense readiness

By Michael L. Jones DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. Kristen Fabry participated as a guest panelist in Ohio’s Defense and Aerospace Forum state-wide event conducted virtually Oct. 6.

The forum was organized to promote increased awareness of Ohio’s military and aerospace capabilities and how they are integrated into the nation’s defense strategy. The day long forum presented five panel presentations that included military leadership, community leaders, industry representatives and elected officials from across the state. Panels represented different geographic areas of Ohio including Central Ohio, Northeast, Northwest, Southwest and Industry. All panels were moderated by a congressional member.

The Central Ohio panel, which included Fabry, Air Force Col. David Johnson, commander of the 121st Air Refueling Wing at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base and Army Col. Jeff Watkins, commander of the Ohio Army National Guard’s 73rd Troop Command. Each military commander provided a mission overview that included general information about their resources and readiness, installation capabilities and their tactical importance in helping ensure America’s safety and security. The panel was moderated by Congressman Warren Davidson of Ohio’s 8th District.

Fabry spoke about the distinguished legacy of the Defense Supply Center Columbus and its active participation in supporting America’s military dating back through its more than 100-year existence. Fabry has the distinction of commanding both DSCC and the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, a command scope that considerably increases Columbus’ military significance.

Addressing that scope Fabry shared some impressive military performance metrics generated by DLA as the nation’s military combat support agency.

“DLA supplies 86% of our military’s spare parts and nearly 100% of the fuel and troop support consumables, and more than 2,400 military weapon systems,” Fabry said. As part of DLA’s structure, Columbus, Ohio, represents two of DLA’s nine supply chains.

Fabry acknowledged future strategic demands that will drive expansion of roles and mission changes in DLA and DSCC operations. She said the changes are, and will be, tactical responses by America as world tensions increase and the great power competition evolves among major military powers.

“DLA is focusing more on improving logistics efficiencies that drive U.S. military readiness,” Fabry said. “Accelerating our logistics support initiatives with the military services, developing more creative procurement sourcing options and leveraging new technologies will all positively impact readiness.”

Discussing DLA reform initiatives prompted Fabry to share some organizational restructuring. “We’ve moved the Internal Hardware mission from our Philadelphia location and are dividing it between Columbus, Ohio, and our Richmond, Virginia, supply chain,” Fabry said.  

Fabry said that DLA is totally committed to sustaining engineering initiatives within DLA. She used the completion of the new battery test lab located on DSCC as an example; it should be operational by the end of October. “Great things are going on in Columbus and we’re very proud of our battery test lab.”

Identifying herself as still relatively new to Columbus, Fabry said she was extremely impressed by the local community support demonstrated for our military families. She touted the neighborhoods and schools and identified Columbus as a great place to live and work.

“What we’re doing is working, so I would say let’s keep working to make it better,” Fabry said.    

As she concluded Fabry asked what could DSCC do to better communicate. “We’ve issued an internal challenge to improve our ability to tell our story so we can let Central Ohio know the importance of the work being conducted here at DSCC,” Fabry said.