NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
The Pentagon’s Director for Logistics, Air Force Lt. Gen. Sam C. Barrett and Defense Logistics Agency’s Director, Navy Vice Adm. Michelle C. Skubic, visited DLA Distribution Headquarters in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, June 23 for an update on the agency’s COVID-19 support efforts and a tour of the modernization efforts at DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.
DLA Distribution Commander, Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Keith D. Reventlow and his leadership team provided a brief overview of the agency’s mission and outlined the critical COVID-19 support provided by the agency. Since the onset of the pandemic, DLA Distribution successfully delivered over 744,000 vaccines, over 4 million COVID-19 test kits and over 55 million critical medical and personal protective equipment to support warfighters and federal agencies including Health and Human Services, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Veterans Health Administration and U.S. Agency for International Development.
Following the brief, the officers toured the Eastern Distribution Center to see the beginning phases of the $200 million, multi-year modernization effort to transform the 1980’s era warehouse. Reventlow expressed the importance of the modernization transformation to ensure continued relevancy in future warfighter support.
DDSP’s Deputy Commander, Brent Barnes, provided an overview of the distribution center’s operations via storyboards. The group walked through the receiving area as Barnes indicated where the multi-shuttle receiving buffer system will be located. Three-dimensional graphic storyboards depicted the conveyance and buffer system to be installed over the next year. In the high-rise storage area, the officers saw the existing pallet storage area where the interface to the racking system will be. The update will allow automated guided vehicles to deliver pallets to the high-rise racks. A mini-load system will also be installed in the high-rise bin storage area to retrieve plastic bins and move them to the new goods-to-person stations in the mezzanine.
With the massive re-warehousing effort underway, rows are cleared in preparation for the mini-load and bin system implementation. The mezzanine area has been moved and the conveyance and office areas prepped for demolition to make way for new equipment. The old sorter system will be replaced with a narrow-belt sortation system and the new data handling system. The tour concluded in the walk and pick area where employees demonstrated the voice picking system.
When complete, the modernization effort will provide a 20% labor productivity improvement, a multi-task capability in bin aisles and improved accountability and safety for DLA Distribution employees.