News | Jan. 1, 2022

How the West was won in 2021

By Jake Joy DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

The sun may set in the west, but warfighter support doesn’t ever let up for the members of the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Disposal Support Directorate West region. 

At military installations spread through our nation’s rainforests, mountains, deserts and high plains, the team covering the western third of the continental U.S. stayed busy in 2021, despite the ongoing challenges of a pandemic-challenged operating environment. Just a handful of the many highlights and achievements from another solid year of meeting our nation’s military and government logistics needs:

Beginning in the desert at the Tucson hub in Arizona, property disposal specialists consulted with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the turn in of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of construction materials, including steel barriers and PVC piping located in challenging terrain.

Tucson hub staff worked on a multitude of demilitarization and scrap projects at bases across the southeast, selling millions of pounds in scrap. A few notable assistance efforts included the decommissioning of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, the mutilation of more than 200,000 pounds of launch tubes from Camp Navajo Army Depot in Flagstaff, Arizona, the scrap sale of 80,000 pounds of F-16 metal frame coverings from the Air National Guard in Tucson, and 1.23 million pounds of scrap sold from the destruction of 35 airframes that included defunct cargo planes, jets, helicopters, and bombers.

On the California coast, at the Pendleton hub, the team took in 2,400 items from 46 truckloads of equipment declared excess by the Navy after the fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard. And in a state recently plagued by fire, the San Diego site had to deal with a fire of its own. In January, an early morning blaze gutted the DLA Disposition Services administrative building there. Quick reactions by area leadership meant site warehouse functions continued unimpeded and coordination with DLA J6 got replacement IT equipment quickly placed to allow for smooth support to warfighters there.  

To the northeast, in the heat of the Barstow sun, the hub team found reuse customers for $126 million in excess items. Customers included Nellis Air Force Base, where bombing range personnel scooped up 25 MRAPs to provide realistic targets for Air Force pilots to develop their skills with. Barstow also reached an agreement to begin serving the hazardous waste removal needs of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin for the first time in decades. 

Other noteworthy customer support efforts at Barstow include an agreement to move half a million pounds of fired brass from Marine Corps Base Twenty-Nine Palms, the receipt of a $15 million radar set there, and the swift disposal of a wrecked attack helicopter that had sat with an Army unit at Fort Irwin for more than a decade.   

The San Joaquin site, near Stockton, California, built off its win as 2020 Best Site of the Year, and successfully transitioned all its customers during the site closure process at Vandenberg Space Force Base. The team received more than 130,000 items, diverting 5.6 million pounds of turn-in items from the landfill, finding reuse destinations for $47 million in equipment and bringing in $3.3 million in sales revenue.

On the other side of the mountains, at Sierra Army Depot, property disposal specialists did what they do best: demilitarize and scrap. By the end of August, the team had received close to 8,000 pieces including up-armor kits, MRAPs, Howitzer cannons, and armed personnel carriers weighing in at over 14 million pounds.

At Hill Air Force Base in Utah, the team managed the closure of the Great Falls Field Office and took responsibility for DLA’s Montana-based reverse logistics customer needs. The team also took pride in the removal of 115 unserviceable bomb loaders that had accumulated over several years at Hill, accomplished through a complicated coordination effort that took several months to complete.

And far to the north, Joint Base Lewis-McChord personnel successfully closed the Bremerton, Washington, field office while shifting the hub workload. Demilitarization as Condition of Sale agreements with the Navy’s regional shipyard brought in nearly $1.2 million in proceeds from the sale of 23 million pounds of scrap that had to be loaded onto barges and floated through the Puget Sound to the contractor’s facility. The hub’s hazardous waste receipt load was also the highest in the entire DLA Disposition Services’ enterprise, with more than 11,500 receipts taken in. The associated HW sales saved DOD nearly $550,000 in potential disposal costs and earned more than $120,000.