News | Dec. 18, 2020

HQ staff keeps the reverse logistics machine humming

By Jeff Landenberger DLA DIsposition Services

To the world, it’s the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in Battle Creek, Michigan. To the staff of the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services headquarters within, it’s their professional home, and it’s closing in on a centennial birthday.

In the past century, the building was nearly always brimming with people, but the pandemic changed that when a majority of the workforce was instructed to work from home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

A person uses a cutting torch on scrap metal and sparks fly.
This photo of Kristian Fugrad operating a plasma torch to demilitarizing property that had been turned in to DLA Disposition Services in Battle Creek, Michigan was taken by Jeff Landenberger of the command's Public Affairs office. The photo took first place in the News Photo category of the DLA Journalism awards.
A person uses a cutting torch on scrap metal and sparks fly.
Kristian Fugrad operates a plasma torch
This photo of Kristian Fugrad operating a plasma torch to demilitarizing property that had been turned in to DLA Disposition Services in Battle Creek, Michigan was taken by Jeff Landenberger of the command's Public Affairs office. The photo took first place in the News Photo category of the DLA Journalism awards.
Photo By: Jeffrey Landenberger
VIRIN: 190617-D-YU183-351
Even with the halls of the landmark building almost empty, Pete Foreman, chief of staff for DLA Disposition Services, said the staff continues to meet its mission head on.

“Although challenged by COVID, we successfully supported the warfighter through our administrative efforts as well as met their resource requirements to improve their readiness – that’s all reflected through the hard work of the staff,” Foreman said.

He added the pandemic response required ensuring the workforce was safe by utilizing telework where possible and by supplying adequate personal protective equipment to workers who were at the job sites to support our customer’s property disposal and reuse requirements.

“The headquarters staff, as well as our teammates in the field, worked through the challenges of telework, video conferencing and a hundred other hurdles both large and small this year to provide world class support for our DOD and whole of government customers,” Foreman said. “We did all that and still remained fiscally responsible to the taxpayers who we ultimately serve.”

Foreman said the various headquarters offices, like everyone else, had to be creative in finding ways to continue to operate effectively during a pandemic.

Robin Rogers stands and delivers a talk.
Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Robin Rogers talks with the DSD Mid-America leadership Team before travel restrictions went into effect. During the pandemic Rogers shifted to virtual operations.
Robin Rogers stands and delivers a talk.
Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Robin Rogers
Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Robin Rogers talks with the DSD Mid-America leadership Team before travel restrictions went into effect. During the pandemic Rogers shifted to virtual operations.
Photo By: Jeff Landenberger
VIRIN: 200224-D-YU183-641
He noted that the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office developed adjustments in its services and support by facilitating virtual outreach and maintaining an average training completion rate above 98% for both employees and supervisors.

The Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity office found ways to continue to provide meaningful special emphasis programs for a dispersed workforce. Foreman said the agency director even recognized their efforts and put heavy emphasis on one of their virtual programs during the annual dynamic operating plan presentation.  

Lastly, Foreman mentioned that the public affairs office increased the overall social media share of DLA Disposition Services by 12%, making it the second highest social media content provider among the major subordinate commands, despite its relatively small footprint. Additionally, the public affairs office captured five DLA Journalism awards; the top two places in the News Photo category and a sweep of the top three awards for Layout Design. 

Moving forward, Foreman said he expects that the headquarters staff, as with all of team DLA Disposition Services, will continue to find safe and fiscally responsible ways to successfully meet the needs of warfighters in 2021.