News | May 13, 2021

Commander addresses questions, says goodbye during final town hall

By Nancy Benecki DLA Troop Support

Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support commander, addressed a number of topics ranging from COVID-19 vaccines to the new DLA Strategic Plan, and took time to say goodbye to the workforce during his final town hall, held virtually May 10.

Noting that he previously served at Troop Support “a couple of moons ago” as an aide-de-camp, Lawrence said this agency will always have “a special place in my heart.”

“It goes beyond all the great work that we get to do as an organization because of our portfolio, because of our mission,” he said. “It goes, quite frankly, to the people, to you, the heart and soul … of this organization. You are what makes it special. You are what makes it continue to thrive in the most adverse of conditions, as we operated through COVID-19. I can’t think of a better work family, and I don’t use that term loosely because that’s what you all are to me.”

Lawrence will relinquish command of the agency May 14, and Deputy Commander Richard Ellis will assume the role of acting commander until the next commander is named.

COVID-19 vaccines and reconstitution

Discussions about COVID-19 vaccines and the reconstitution of the workforce kicked off the town hall. Decisions about when the workforce will return to the office have not been made yet, and those who will return in the first phase will have at least two weeks’ notice before having to come back, Lawrence said.

When returning to work, employees will be required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety guidelines, including wearing masks inside and maintaining social distancing of six feet between work stations, he said.

“Together we will collectively work to put plans in place that will bring us back to work physically here in a safe manner,” Lawrence said. More information about DLA’s response to COVID-19 is available on their public website.

Getting vaccinated remains voluntary for the workforce, said DLA Troop Support Human Resources Customer Account Manager Katherine McMahon. Employees who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, can sign up via the secure website.

Employees can now also request leave time for getting vaccines during work hours, regardless of where they get their vaccines, and to recover from reactions to the vaccine. DLA human resources continues to update information daily on the agency website, she said.

Accomplishments and Achievements

Celebrating the achievements of the supply chains and employees is at the heart of any town hall, Lawrence said.

“In spite of all the obstacles that we have collectively faced, I am absolutely proud to say there’s a number of significant accomplishments that we, as an organization, have achieved that have impacts not only locally, but globally,” Lawrence said.

Highlights included:

  • Subsistence support for Easter and Passover meals
  • Clothing and Textiles face mask contracts for more than 1,900 community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens across the country
  • Construction and Equipment acquired 60 Battelle Critical Care Decontamination Systems used to decontaminate over 1.6 million N95 face masks
  • Medical delivered 530,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to warfighters and their dependents outside of the continental United States and to Navy ships

    Individual employees also received recognition for their accomplishments throughout the last year.

    “Part of what we take pride in is developing and implementing global supply chain solutions,” Lawrence said. “We take stuff that is hard or that the services and combatant commands can’t do, and we rely upon the thought and out-of-the-box thinking of our employees to develop supply chain solutions.”

    Award winners included:

  • Team of the Year: Personal Protective Equipment Team, Medical
  • Supervisor of the Year: John Trunzo, J3/5
  • Employee of the Year: Linnette De La Cruz, Construction and Equipment
  • Innovation Award Individual: Tara Perrien, Medical
  • Innovation Award Team: Hard Body Armor Testing Team, Clothing and Textiles

The DLA Troop Support winners of the 2020 Federal Executive Board Excellence in Government Awards were also honored for their achievements.

Industrial Hardware transition

The Industrial Hardware supply chain realignment is one of the most significant, transformational changes that has happened to DLA Troop Support in the last decade, Lawrence said.

“This is a significant moment, and you have made it look easy, and I know it’s not,” Lawrence.

Over the last year, about 59% of the workforce transfer has been completed, and nearly 64% of Troop Support’s national stock number listed hardware items have been realigned to DLA Aviation and Land and Maritime, he said.

Realignment is scheduled to be complete by the end of fiscal 2022.

DLA’s New Strategic Plan

The new DLA Strategic Plan 2021 – 2026 “Transforming Global Logistics,” was released by DLA Headquarters several weeks ago.

“If you are an employee of this organization, you need to spend some time and take a look at this strategic document,” Lawrence said.

The document lays out DLA’s vision for the agency in an ever-changing global environment, he said.

Leadership is already revising DLA Troop Support’s campaign plans to align with the five lines of effort, campaign objectives, critical capabilities and tactical actions in the new strategic document, Lawrence said.

The town hall also covered recent military promotions, an update on the most recent Culture Climate Survey, and an infrastructure modernization update.