JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
Employees in the South-East region welcomed a new director, helped warfighters in their area enhance their readiness through divestiture, enhanced their own capabilities with new equipment for demilitarization, and provided materials to battle COVID-19 during 2020 despite the challenges the pandemic placed on operations.
The pandemic delayed the arrival of Defense Logistics Agency employee Omar Khlifi from his previous post as deputy director for DLA Disposition Services Europe and Africa to Jacksonville, Florida, to become the South-East’s new director. Khlifi described the months after his arrival as a “unique and challenging” time.
“But I’m certain we have the right skills and resources to overcome the challenges to come,” Khlifi said. “We are fortunate to have secure jobs, safe working environments and all the flexibilities extended to us by DLA.”
The former Marine Corps sergeant credits the Corps for enhancing his leadership skills and DLA for providing opportunities to learn and improve from his first civilian post in DLA Disposition Services in 2007 to rise through the ranks and “exceed my career expectations.” Along the way, he said he grew as a civilian logistician and learned from “some outstanding supervisors and leaders -- good people.”
Field sites across the South-East region like Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, both in North Carolina, have helped the services based in their locations shed excess equipment. Personnel at Fort Bragg supported the Army’s new Retrograde Warehouse Team disposal process and were part of the Army Forces Command Divestiture Team recognized by DLA with a third quarter Strategic Goals Award. Part of the divestiture support from Bragg personnel went to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, which recently turned in tactical vehicles worth of millions of dollars.
The staff at the Marine Corps’ base at Camp Lejeune gave similar support to units. Large turn-ins were seen from 2nd Law Enforcement, 2nd Tanks and the Second Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment. Site Manager Richard Slesinski said his team maintained a high level of on board effectiveness during the year.
Components for the new “Commodore Crunch” shredder were received at the Anniston, Alabama, site and installed as preparations began for testing to enable the new gear to replace its predecessor and enhance the demilitarization of weapons and other controlled items. Anniston staffers also serialized over 103,000 weapons and demilitarized over 62,000 others in 2020.
Anniston personnel received 49 million pounds of property during fiscal 2020 exceeding the contract weight of 48 million pounds. They also received and processed over 1,000 shipments and processed 59,000 turn-in documents. The staff processed items from 338 turn-in documents for reuse, extending the service of 7,000 pieces of property with an acquisition value of over $276 million.
Medical equipment and supplies going to battle COVID-19 included portable medical shelters from Charleston, South Carolina, to help the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command New England provide better screening and testing in the northeastern United States. A disposal service representative at Cape Canaveral, Florida, assisted U.S. Southern Command in transferring $2.2 million in excess property at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, in mid-July to equip Honduran COVID-19 response centers and quarantine camps. The field site at Eglin, Florida, stood by its customers during the pandemic to provide medical supplies. Employees managed and coordinated the shipment of 76 medical supply items with a total value of over $111,000.
Florida’s first responders preparing for hurricane season were helped by DLA Disposition Services employees at Jacksonville, Florida, who provided items like former Navy generators to help deal with the aftermath from a major storm or other emergency. Warner Robins staffers made life easier for Atlanta’s homeless community by providing a donation customer with almost 200 pairs of boots.
Scrap sales were a big deal at Warner Robins where they established three separate sales contracts for scrap covering residue from unusable items, tires and items requiring demilitarization as part of the sale – all three creating revenue for the government. Reservists also helped at Warner Robins as they used their mid-July training time to process property turned in there. The training let them practice for future operations using real transactions like they might perform while supporting operations in a disaster or contingency operation. The help from reservists cleared the way for additional mission essential workload.