Susquehanna installation hosts Depot Women’s Club

By Sherre Mitten-Bell DLA Distribution

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Members and friends of Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna’s Depot Women’s Club visited Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Susquehanna, Pa., on July 17 to discuss the history and mission of both the club and the installation.

The agenda included a historical overview of how the installation transformed from a World War I U.S. Army Reserve depot into a strategic distribution platform for the Defense Logistics Agency.  Explaining today’s missions and achievements was the division chief for the Eastern Distribution Center, John Northrup.  He addressed questions about managing resources, accountability and transportation practices in supporting the current warfighter.  

Attendees who had been affiliated with the installation for decades graciously imparted their experiences into the discussion.  Some were veterans or civilian retirees, having held positions including a commanding officer’s administrative assistant, and manager of the Army’s Air Maintenance mission in the 1980’s. One guest shared that he had been processed through the New Cumberland Army Induction Center to serve during World War II, as did 500,000 fellow Pennsylvanians. 

Following the overviews, the group toured the Department of Defense’s largest distribution processing facility, including receiving operations, the high-rise storage and retrieval system, and the air line of communication pallet build area.

One of their longest standing members, Rosemary Kline, joined the Depot Women’s Club in 1973.  She has held the position of club president for the past eight years, a service she has performed several times since 1989. Kline was impressed with the automation and the vastness of the DLA facility.  “I was amazed specifically by the high-rise operations and at how the system was able to deliver items to the appropriate consolidation chute.”

Kline has remained active with the club because she believes it is time well spent.  “It serves a purpose: the installation has given me much and I enjoy being able to give back.  For example, the Club has presented over $100,000 in scholarships to children of local military and civilians by managing a Thrift Shop,” she says.  The Thrift Shop is no longer in operation, but still supports worthy causes, such as the New Cumberland Public Library.

The Depot Women’s Club has been affiliated with DLA’s Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna since it began as an Officer’s Wives Club in 1963.  Few clubs with similar roots have endured into the 21st century, as most did not survive the closing of a military officer’s club to which they had been associated.  It’s a testament to this Depot Women’s Club’s dedication to their mission, community and each other that they have continued this military tradition in New Cumberland, Pa.