NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Defense Logistics Agency Distribution is expanding support to the Department of Veterans Affairs, increasing the original three-year $24.5 million VA agreement to a five-year $180 million agreement.
What started last year as a partnership to ensure personal protective equipment for VA health care workers, see August 2020 article here, has resulted in an enduring mission. DLA Distribution is currently providing storage and distribution services for over 28,000 pallets of material with over 5,000 issues for the VA, totaling nearly $14 million in support.
“The numbers continue to rise, specifically with outbound shipments resulting from recent fast-turning missions at the East Coast contracted site for blood collection tubes and COVID-19 testing kits. Issues from the site doubled last week from 300 to 600,” said Shala Pulgar, DLA Distribution Business Development specialist.
Since the start of the pandemic in January 2020, the VA storage area grew to nine warehouses. Through the initial agreement, DLA Distribution received, stored and distributed equipment to free the VA’s limited storage, saving millions of dollars in storage costs. By leveraging DLA Distribution’s core competency of storage and distribution, the VA material has been consolidated into three DLA warehouses, with no disruption to veteran care at VA hospitals and facilities.
DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania and DLA Distribution San Joaquin, California, will be the organic sites with initial operating capability expected by early 2023. DLA and the VA are currently planning for two additional contracted locations. The end goal for the new agreement is four regional readiness centers placed throughout the United States, securing the move from contingency operations to readiness.
Over the past decade, typically in response to national and global humanitarian crises, the demand signal for DLA’s acquisition, storage, distribution and surge capabilities to support other federal agencies has grown. DLA understands its potential value-add to the whole of government community as a logistics supplier of choice. It is formalizing this role as part of its latest strategic plan, while ensuring no cost or service trade-offs to its traditional military customer.