News | June 7, 2021

Agency realignment improves fuel infrastructure support

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Building on the Defense Logistics Agency fuel facilities sustainment realignment plan, DLA Energy is finding new ways to streamline processes and better align responsibilities to save money and improve customer support. 

The 2020 realignment plan merges fuels sustainment, restoration and modernization program management and technical expertise under one command and control umbrella.

“This improvement in effectiveness and efficiency is continuing to pay dividends for our customers,” said DLA Energy Facility Sustainment Directorate Program Management Division Chief Eric Wiedemann. “The teamwork and cooperation from the realignment has resulted in significant improvements in our ability to support the Warfighter.”

The latest improvement is the result of coordination between the leak detection program and recurring maintenance program. The two programs established a monthly working group to closely collaborate and share responsibilities to repair small deficiencies, conduct compliance testing and return facilities to operations quicker.

“In many ways, the two programs work hand and hand with one another to keep facilities in compliance and in good working order,” said Patty Beyer, DLA Energy Recurring Maintenance and Minor Repair Program Analyst. “The goal is to work towards a quicker and more seamless handoff between the two programs responsibilities.”

Beyer said the programs have always communicated well between one another, but the reorganization has removed barriers allowing them to better share ideas and challenges.

“These small tweaks to the process are estimated to save an average of 70 site visits in extra mobilizations and $700,000 throughout both programs annually,” Beyer said. “The team will monitor both programs as these new initiatives are implemented and will continue to look for more synergies to ensure we are meeting the Warfighter needs efficiently.”

One recent success was the response to a Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, pipeline disruption. Working together, both programs responded within days of notification from the Air Force applying their collective expertise to troubleshoot and identify the problem. The teams were quickly able to resolve the situation, keep the site in good standing with the state environmental regulators and maintain mission success.

“The communication and coordination effort between the programs was the key to the success of this mission,” said Jesus Ramirez, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntsville Fuels Program Manager. “A lot of movement parts were synchronized in a timely manner.”

Roddra Malone, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntsville Recurring Maintenance and Minor Repair Program Project Manager, said it was a superb team effort.

“The entire team responded and collaborated with all personnel required to ensure the leak was repaired expeditiously so the base could continue its mission without delay,” Malone said.

Without the reorganization, Beyer said this level of collaboration wouldn’t have happened.

“We are slashing through organizational boundaries and empowering action officers to work smarter and faster and provide better service to the Warfighter.”

Program improvements are planned to be fully implemented by 2022. 

General Order 7-20 was officially signed in September 2020, but the effects have been felt since April 2020 when the programs began to work together under the new alignment, Wiedemann said.