News | Feb. 15, 2021

Battle Creek team helps equip Central operations

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services employees at global sites often count on colleagues in Battle Creek, Michigan, to ensure essential equipment they need like the team who helps keep the specialized equipment site staffs rely on getting to where it is needed.

Jenny Norvey, Development Branch chief, said her colleagues Don Zimmerman and Chris Milazzo, from the Workforce Development Branch, partner with Teresa Cowell from the Operations Directorate to make these shipments happen. Their efforts are aided by members of the Ocean Containers transportation team at DLA Operations in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

“We take a collaborative approach to facilitating the shipment of necessary equipment supporting the Central region’s needs,” Cowell said.

To support any equipment purchases for Central, Cowell said vendors ship equipment to the Battle Creek Michigan Air National Guard Base. The base hosts a storage site for DLA Disposition Services’ Expeditionary Site Sets, which is located near its Training Operations and Simulation Center. The facilities there offer a good staging area and the equipment necessary to handle heavy equipment during shipping.

“We begin coordination via our transportation,” Cowell explained. “Working with outbound transportation companies, base security, and equipment operators, we prepare and load the outbound equipment in a safe manner.

Cowell said challenges from current health and safety guidance and the inability to provide radio-frequency identification trackers and seals led her to devise additional manual tracking requirements through the shipment and receipt process.

Having deployed multiple times for DLA Disposition Services, Cowell said she understands the importance and benefit of having safe, working equipment and how it enables DLA to support the warfighter. 

“I am more than happy to my part to ensure my teammates in deployed locations have that equipment,” Cowell said.

Zimmerman helps train personnel at the TOSC for field assignments so they will receive and handle property safely, especially when employees are using material handling equipment like forklifts and container handlers. He uses that experience to help the team safely move items headed for Central.

“In the risk assessment for property moving Jan. 27, we agreed that both the load out and the offload were non-standard loads, so I was there as a secondary spotter,” Zimmerman said.

Spotters help operators using MHE to avoid colliding with objects they cannot see because their view is blocked by the item being moved.

“I am glad to help out Central or any region, especially when it comes to the safety to our people and property,” Zimmerman said.