News | June 7, 2021

DLA Director visits DLA Distribution, thanks employees for COVID-19 support

By Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution Public Affairs Officer

Defense Logistics Agency Distribution is being recognized at high levels for providing critical support to the warfighter and our federal partners engaged in the fight against COVID-19, the DLA director told employees during a May 13 visit.

“What you do makes a difference,” said Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic, as she presented commander’s coins at DLA Distribution Headquarters, the Fillmore Army Health Clinic, DLA Installation Management Fire and Police Departments and DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, to the mission essential employees who continue to report to work every day throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

DLA Director visits DLA Distribution, thanks employees for COVID-19 support
Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic, Defense Logistics Agency Director, talks with worker Chris Orth as he packages a box of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for shipment at DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, May 13, 2021. (Photo by Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution Public Affairs)
DLA Director visits DLA Distribution, thanks employees for COVID-19 support
DLA Director visits DLA Distribution, thanks employees for COVID-19 support
Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic, Defense Logistics Agency Director, talks with worker Chris Orth as he packages a box of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for shipment at DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, May 13, 2021. (Photo by Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution Public Affairs)
Photo By: Dawn Bonsell
VIRIN: 210513-D-KL823-0003

Skubic received a detailed brief on the ongoing distribution of Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccines for Defense Department populations overseas and the Navy fleet from DLA Distribution Commander, Marine Corps. Brig. Gen. Keith Reventlow. Reventlow, supported by his senior leaders and select subject matter experts, touted the successful distribution of over 600,000 vaccines to over 35 countries for the combatant command mission during a command brief in the headquarters building.

The Distribution team highlighted successful program metrics and new operational initiatives in various stages of execution. Most notably, they described a modernization effort currently underway at the 1980s era Eastern Distribution Center, the largest multi-site distribution complex within DOD.

Skubic expressed specific interest in the MSC’s modernization plan, asking how the workforce is reacting to the new voice technology.

“The workforce loves it. Walking through the warehouse, seasoned employees are offering suggestions on additional locations the new technology could be implemented,” said Paul Abel, DLA Distribution future operations director.

DLA Director visits DLA Distribution, thanks employees for COVID-19 support
Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic, Defense Logistics Agency Director, talks with workers Lavinia Ganhann, right and Jesse Drust, left about the benefits of voice pick technology currently in use at DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, May 13, 2021. (Photo by Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution Public Affairs)
DLA Director visits DLA Distribution, thanks employees for COVID-19 support
DLA Director visits DLA Distribution, thanks employees for COVID-19 support
Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic, Defense Logistics Agency Director, talks with workers Lavinia Ganhann, right and Jesse Drust, left about the benefits of voice pick technology currently in use at DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, May 13, 2021. (Photo by Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution Public Affairs)
Photo By: Dawn Bonsell
VIRIN: 210513-D-KL823-0001

The Distribution Headquarters team then provided an overview of accuracy rate trends throughout the previous and current fiscal years, accenting the 98% accuracy rate according to DOD measures. The audit team described the focus on building systemic and preventative controls in the new warehouse management system to avoid issues in the previous system as the agency continues to operate in a dual environment. Beginning early next year, DLA Distribution will transfer 44 sites to WMS with completion slated for fiscal year 2024.

Later that day, Skubic had the opportunity to see the cold chain storage and preparation area where DDSP workers prepared for the arrival of over 46,000 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to support DOD’s mission to vaccinate overseas 12-to-17-year-olds in the U.S. European, Central and Indo-Pacific Commands.

Skubic also saw the beginning stages of the over $200 million modernization effort in the EDC, including the conversion of the first eight high-bay bin aisles. She also visited with employees who demonstrated firsthand the successful voice-pick technology.

Skubic was also briefed on the COVID-19 protocols in place to protect the health and safety of the workforce throughout the worldwide DLA Distribution network, a workforce she praised for “doing amazing work across the agency.”