News | May 18, 2022

Leaders share accomplishments supporting warfighters during SEPRT

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

More than 130 Defense Logistics Agency leaders, military customer senior leaders and supplier partners gathered in the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, May 10-11 for the annual Senior Executive Partnership Round Table to discuss challenges and accomplishments in support of warfighters across the DLA landscape over the past year.

DLA Aviation Deputy Director of Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate Air Force Lt. Col. David Payton coordinated this year’s event. He said SEPRT provides a joint environment that brings industry and government together to share ideas and best practices, which in turn, strengthens relationships for the common goal of providing warfighter support.

DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford addressed the attendees at the outset of the event, saying, “We all need to be open and transparent, and we need open communication to figure out the best way to support the warfighter. Industry partnership and defense logistics are all part of the National Defense Strategy.”

Among the major topics discussed was a look forward at the logistics and material readiness strategic approach to fulfilling this year’s National Defense Strategy priorities: defend the nation, take care of our people and succeed through teamwork.

Leaders shared immediate and long-term objectives that support these priorities, including the development of logistics enhancements and mission enablers; the expansion and optimization of sustainment data integration and the expansion of industry engagement and market intelligence to foster innovation and manage risk.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment Steven Morani told supplier partners in attendance, “I want to thank you for your partnership. We don’t want you to do it for us, we want you to do it with us.”

DLA Acquisition Director Matthew Beebe presented a session on working together to manage risk and uncertainty. In his presentation, Beebe noted the financial impact of global supply chain management, including $205 billion in managed-active contracts.

These contracts cover a number of warfighter needs, from parts and maintenance for ground-based and maritime systems to clothing and textiles, and storage and disposal systems.

“The warfighter will always be at the forefront of what we do and why we do it,” Beebe said.

The DLA Industry Engagement Plan was also given ample attention during SEPRT. This plan aims to build stronger partnerships through five focus areas: communication with suppliers, balancing business decisions with financial responsibilities, managing and advocating for supplier feedback, driving business innovation and efficiency, and assessing and mitigating supply chain risk.

A critical element to meeting warfighter needs is the advancement and modernization of material acquisition and supply chain management, and the event’s participants noted that logistics is the key to achieving this. Presenters also anticipate that expanding industry engagement will foster innovation and maximize value for customers.

The DLA Acquisition Modernization Program, presented at SEPRT, aims to maximize enterprise information technology modernization, apply innovative processes and capitalize on emerging technology.