News | Aug. 6, 2021

Disposition Services refuses to let the pandemic sink its naval support

By Jason Shamberger DLA Disposition Services

The need for disposition of naval materiel requires ongoing support to naval partners around the globe, even amidst a global pandemic. 

Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services recently partnered with the U.S. Navy to provide disposal requirements for current operations on multiple vessels in the Central region. 

Variety of naval vessels in the Arabian Gulf
210407-A-IY623-0188 ARABIAN GULF (April 7, 2021) – Royal Bahrain Naval Force fast attack craft RBNS Abdul Rahman Al-fadel (P 22), Bahrain Coast Guard response boats Hawar 5 and Hawar 4, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72), patrol coastal ships USS Squall (PC 7) and USS Hurricane (PC 3), U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Adak (WBP 1333) and two Mark VI patrol boats operate in formation during exercise Neon Defender in the Arabian Gulf, April 7. Neon Defender 21 is a bilateral maritime exercise between the U.S. and Bahrain, designed to enhance interoperability and readiness, fortify military-to-military relationships and advance operational capabilities, allowing participating naval forces to effectively develop the necessary skills to address threats to regional security, freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce. (Army Photo by Spc. Evens Milcette Jr.)
Photo By: Spc. Evens Milcette
VIRIN: 210407-A-IY623-0188A
Faisl Liban, a Central region Disposition Services site lead said, “The number one priority for DLA Disposition Services is to provide the best support possible for ships in the area of responsibility,” said “For this reason, USS and USNS vessel(s) customer service is paramount to the DSD Central leadership and [its’] employees.” 

Providing consistent and quality customer support in the current pandemic environment requires a new approach from DLA. Due to restrictions, Disposition Services representatives are unable to physically board vessels as they typically would to conduct operations. For the time being, they must provide all support via phone and through virtual methods.

“Once the theater Health Protection Condition is lowered to HPCON Alpha or lower, we will be able to board vessels and provide face to face support and training to supply officers on board vessels in this [area of responsibility],” Liban said. 

In certain cases, representatives conduct a visual inspection of items at a designated area near the pier to avoid physical contact. This is an example of representatives continuing to provide support to naval customers and fulfill their requests as necessary.

Representatives throughout the AOR remain at work with disposition requests by phone, virtual or in-person. 

Current operations on the USS Iwo Jima include fulfilling a request for approval to offload nearly one ton of mostly metal and rubber materiel deemed “unrepairable.” Disposition representatives are also assisting the USS Shiloh as the ship’s crew swaps out the obsolete and damaged self-serve washers and dryer units.  

Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, Disposition Services representatives will resume boarding vessels and providing in-person support to the supply officers and enlisted logistics specialists aboard these vessels.