News | Jan. 28, 2016

128th Aviation Brigade learns about DLA Aviation missions

By Bonnie Koenig DLA Aviation

The frigid temperatures and impending snow storm didn’t deter the U.S. Army’s 128th Aviation Brigade from Fort Eustis, Virginia from visiting Defense Logistics Agency Aviation for a leadership professional development event Jan. 21.

128th Aviation Brigade commander, Army Col. John Smith requested the training opportunity to provide his Company commanders awareness and knowledge of DLA and how it interfaces with Army tactical units. The 128th conducts all Army Aviation maintenance training for enlisted and warrant officers and pushes about 6,000 students through the program annually.

To start the day, DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Allan Day gave opening remarks at DLA Aviation Headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. Briefings included a DLA Aviation mission overview, briefings on the activity’s Customer Operations, Supplier Operations, and Strategic Acquisitions Directorates, as well as a detailed briefing on Army Customer Facing Operations.

Day told the group that he was a maintenance officer by trade and appreciated the challenges maintainers go through because, without parts, maintainers are unhappy people.

He pointed out, through his own experience, that although the ‘get er done’ attitude is what makes maintainers great, it could also be part of the problem in getting the parts when needed if demands are not put on the supply system each time a part is used.

He explained that scavenging and holding parts for future use does not keep the demand up to date. He said maintainers are partners in this chain of supply and it’s about transaction discipline, the job is not done until the documentation is completed.

“This is a team effort and DLA Aviation is part of your team,” said Day. “If it rolls, flies, floats, or breathes, DLA supports it and it’s really great to be able to make a positive impact for our warfighters.” He said if you do it right from the beginning through ordering and documentation it keeps the supply signals current and the system will not fail them

Smith told the students, as future battalion executive officers, the training will help them to look for these types of abuses and to understand the 2nd and 3rd order effects of not doing it correctly. He also said understanding these processes is an important part of how the system works to their advantage.

DLA Aviation Army Customer Facing Division Operations Officer Major Alex Shimabukuro, said these types of leadership mentoring events are important to help mitigate abuses in the ordering process due to lack of knowledge of the impacts of the costs associated when demands are not properly forecast.