DLA director visits FEMA headquarters, discusses shared missions

By Amanda Neumann DLA Public Affairs

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With the Atlantic hurricane season already underway, disaster can be just around the corner. No federal organization is more aware of that than the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As the lead agency in charge of coordinating the government's response to domestic disasters, FEMA counts on its partnerships with other federal entities to assist when a disaster strikes.

Since 2006, one of those partners has been the Defense Logistics Agency. As part of an effort to strengthen that relationship, DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch met with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, FEMA Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich and Assistant Administrator for Logistics Jeffrey Dorko June 12 during a visit to FEMA headquarters in Washington.

Among the topics discussed during the two-hour visit was the possible expansion of DLA’s 14 pre-scripted mission assignments, which are streamlined and funded statements of work to support commodities like fuel, Busch said.

“Pre-scripted mission assignments give DLA the authority to respond quickly and accurately to support FEMA in a time of emergency,” Busch said. “Making sure we study it now and have those PSMAs right will ensure we deliver the right solution on time."

Busch also toured the Logistics Management Directorate, managed by Dorko, and the National Response Coordination Center, where he learned about FEMA’s view of the support DLA provides. The 24/7 operations center serves as the focal point for national disaster coordination, said Dan Strausbaugh, DLA’s liaison officer to FEMA, who occupies DLA’s seat there during disaster events.

“Whenever there’s an activation, all the folks from the different emergency support functions under the National Response Framework show up there to coordinate responses to natural or man-made disasters,” he said. “The peak months for the Atlantic hurricane season are August and September, so [Busch’s] visit is perfect timing to get us set up and prepared for anything that comes our way.”

In addition to DLA, agencies like the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintain seats for their personnel to prepare for hurricane season or any other disasters, Strausbaugh said.

Busch’s visit tied into his May 28 trip to the National Hurricane Center in Miami as part of President Barack Obama’s annual briefing. DLA was asked to attend due to the agency’s widely recognized support during the 2012 Hurricane Sandy relief operations.

“DLA's reputation for being responsive in times of crisis is widely recognized,” Busch said. “That’s why FEMA trusts DLA as a partner, and that’s why FEMA made sure to include DLA at the table for the President's annual hurricane briefing."

 This was Busch’s first visit to FEMA since taking over DLA in December 2014. Meetings like this reinforce Goal Area 3 of the DLA Strategic Plan, which aims to “engage industry and other partners in the delivery of effective and affordable solutions.”