Warfighter Support Initiative brings DLA to the customers

By Chris Erbe

PRINT  |  E-MAIL
The Defense Logistics Agency took to the road, traveling to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in support of the Warfighter Support Initiative, March 22-23. DLA employees from 11 divisions brought face-to-face engagement to the logistics community of Fort Bragg and other military installations, to educate and inform them about how to better use DLA’s services and capabilities.

Over the two days, a group of about 35 DLA employees occupied the Fort Bragg Catering and Conference Center, where they educated customers about the agency’s ordering systems, supply chains, products and services and provided opportunities for customer feedback. The group represented DLA’s six primary level field activities as well as Document Services, Logistics Information Services, the Joint Contingency Acquisition Support Office and more.

Maj. Gen. Flem "Donnie" Walker, U.S. Army Forces Command deputy chief of staff for logistics at Fort Bragg, kicked off the event with welcoming remarks to participants and attendees.

“The displays, the presentations and the interface that we’re going to receive really apply to what we do on a consistent basis day after day,” Walker said. “Our mission is about building and maintaining readiness for our combatant commanders and to make sure we’re doing all we can to make sure we have trained and ready forces. DLA is a big partner in enabling us to do that.”

Fort Bragg was the second stop in a planned four-stop tour. DLA held a similar event for the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in October 2015.

“This is DLA’s own conference where we focus on providing young service members with a professional military education about DLA that they wouldn’t normally receive anywhere else,” said Guy Beougher, executive director of DLA Logistics Operations. “Our goal is to reach the actual users, the ones operating the systems for each of the services, and to give them a better understanding of what DLA can do for them. Also, we want to hear firsthand how we are doing and how we can improve to best support their needs.”

The breakout sessions covered an assortment of topics including DLA self-help tools; storage and distribution support; vendor logistics programs; combat gear and uniforms; worldwide fuel support; land combat systems; mapping and geospatial products; disposition services; medical support; and subsistence products and food.

“This is the first time we’ve done an event of this size in quite some time,” said Philip Greene, DLA’s representative to Army FORSCOM and organizer of the event. “We’ve got at least five major commands on this installation and a great chance to let people know what DLA brings to the table.”

Attendees came to the event for a variety of reasons. Col. Steven Bundy, from the U.S. Army Reserve Command, came for information on disposing of excess equipment in the Army Reserve.

“My most critical interest is DLA’s disposition services,” Bundy said. “We don’t want to waste maintenance dollars or man-hours repairing or maintaining items that we’re not going to use. We need those resources directed toward producing readiness in our warfighters.”

Master Sgt. Tanya Scarlett’s job as an Army Reservist working in the Supply and Services Division is to visit units within her command and assess how they stand logistically.

“Part of what I learned today is that DLA offers training,” she said. “I’m a senior enlisted leader, so this is important to me because there are a lot of units out there that require training, and this would benefit our soldiers. The fact that it’s free is a huge plus, because we’re always dealing with funding challenges.”

FORSCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Schroeder noted that there are a lot of resources DLA offers that soldiers and leaders are unaware of.

“So this event brings us in and makes us aware of some of those resources,” he said. “It also introduces us to the faces of the people that are supporting us. In turn it provides an opportunity for the teams that are supporting the warfighters to understand the challenges that we’re facing.”

The next two events will be at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, in June and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, later this year. For information about upcoming Warfighter Support Initiative events, email corporateevents@dla.mil.