Eisenhower students learn DLA Distribution future plans strategy, tour DoD’s largest warehouse

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Students from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy in Washington, D.C., visited Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Oct. 23 to discuss how DLA is evolving to continue delivering logistics solutions to the Combatant Commands.

Opening the visit, DLA Distribution commander Army Brig. Gen. Richard Dix offered advice to the students, many of whom he says may be in a similar strategic position as him in the near future.

“I sat in this class five years ago- class of 2009- and I can tell you that it was one of the best years of my life.  I predict that five years from now one of you will be standing here talking to the next wave of students.    Because, if you’re like me, you will carry the goals and vision statement you develop in this class into the future.  I knew where I wanted to go in my career, and this class prepares you for that advanced platform.  Read everything you’re assigned, specifically on strategic joint logistics, because it is the future; expeditionary joint logistics at the speed of light.”

Dix also discussed with the class how DLA Distribution is working with the Combatant Commanders on integrated distribution strategies for U.S. Central Command, Africa Command, European Command and Pacific Command to determine what warehousing and delivery support will be needed as challenges arise across the globe and the nation’s military is called to action. 

“My job is to get critical support to the customer, on time and on target.  This is joint strategic logistics at its best.  I always have to consider how we can move items to the warfighter in more challenging locations.  Anywhere our troops have a requirement, we can be right there with them, providing storage and distribution support,” said Dix.

Joe Faris, director of DLA Distribution’s Business Planning office and an alumnus of the school, then provided the students an overview of DLA Distribution’s 24 distribution centers around the globe, discussing the capabilities of the organization as a whole.  He expanded upon those specialized services highlighted by Dix, emphasizing how distribution and logistics solutions such as deployable distribution centers and expeditionary teams keep DLA Distribution relevant as the needs of the warfighter continuously evolve. 

Providing a firsthand view of distribution operations, the group followed the briefing with a tour of the Eastern Distribution Center, the largest distribution center within the Department of Defense, and a key location for items stored and distributed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.  There, the students saw the facility’s high-rise storage and retrieval system, air lines of communications pallet build area and the Consolidation and Containerization Point processing area, providing perspective on the operations required to maintain accountability and accessibility for items needed by the warfighter.

The Eisenhower School helps to prepare selected military and civilians for strategic leadership and success in developing national security strategy and in evaluating, marshalling and managing resources in the execution of that strategy.  Their visit to DLA Distribution Susquehanna aimed to prepare students in the supply chain management class by giving examples of distribution operations within the Department of Defense.