DLA Director touts resiliency, performance-based logistics at town hall

By John Bell

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Defense Logistics Agency Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch stressed the importance of resiliency and cited employees’ achievements toward goals outlined in the agency’s 2015-2022 Strategic Plan in a Town Hall at the McNamara Headquarters Complex Nov. 2.

“There are five steps forward every day; there might be one step back, but we’re making progress, and we are getting great feedback,” Busch said.

The director highlighted the agency’s effort to improve support to the nuclear enterprise. Progress has already been made with fleet ballistic-missile submarines, nuclear reactors and Trident submarines, but more focus is needed on systems such as the F15-E Strike Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon, he said.

The agency has also made significant progress in performance-based logistics, a key part of Better Buying Power 3.0. However, Busch said he would like to see PBLs expand beyond depot maintenance and supply-chain parameters to include operational outcomes. That effort would require stronger partnerships with the service’s program managers.

Busch then spoke about workforce resiliency, saying it’s important that DLA be a positive workplace, with a culture that treats employees as valued team members and promotes work-life balance. Results of previous culture surveys revealed the need for improvements in morale across the DLA workforce, although the agency offers programs and privileges intended to improve the work environment and help employees be successful.

“This agency has made a significant investment in programs that can help you become resilient. I do become concerned when I see some of the great programs that are a little under-subscribed,” he said, encouraging employees to make good use of telework and the fitness program.

Busch also praised employees for making the agency audit-ready two years earlier than required by the Defense Department.

“I congratulate all of you who were involved in that,” he said.

Contributions and sacrifices of DLA employees were also highlighted. Busch praised the work of DLA’s approximately 600 military reservists, including those who helped work through a backlog of hazardous materials needing disposal and others who are assisting with expeditionary training.

The director also heralded the contributions of DLA civilian employees, noting that they make up the bulk of the agency’s workforce. He singled out two employees who lost their lives in service to duty: Steve Byus was a DLA Land and Maritime employee serving a second deployment in Afghanistan when he was killed on duty in September 2014. He has since been inducted into the DLA Hall of Fame, and the DLA Land and Maritime Community Center in Columbus, Ohio, will be named after Byus.

Krissie Davis was also on her second deployment when she was killed by indirect fire in Afghanistan in June 2015. Busch recounted meeting with her family in Dover, Delaware.

“They talked about how much she enjoyed doing what she did and what it was doing for the warfighters. It was reassuring for me as the director, and it should be reassuring for all of you to hear as well,” he said.

Robert DeLong of DLA Disposition Services was in the vehicle with Davis but survived. He refused an offer to end his deployment to return home early.

“I see across the agency the same commitment Robert DeLong shows,” the director added.

Busch concluded the town hall by answering questions on topics ranging from E-Procurement outages to DLA’s eventual migration to cloud-based computing.