Busch addresses alma mater; urges interagency partnership, faster response

By Air Force Maj. Allison Ecung

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The director of the Defense Logistics Agency on March 28 returned to his old stomping grounds, the National Defense University’s Dwight D. Eisenhower School, to give a keynote speech.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch discussed the importance of strategic sustainment in today’s dynamic environment and outlined the role support agencies like DLA, U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Transportation Command provide. He advocated for a whole-of-government approach with swift response and coordination between agencies, whether supporting combat operations or natural-disaster aid. Busch also emphasized the importance of networking with peers while at the school and meeting key contacts.

Senior military and civilian leaders attend the Eisenhower School, at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC, to do graduate level research in national security and resource strategy. The 10-month program focuses on developing strategic thinkers prepared to lead the development of national security strategy and policy. Graduates receive a master of science degree in national resource strategy as well as Joint Professional Military Education credit for military members.

The Eisenhower School formed after serious mobilization problems arose during World War I. To make sure this didn’t happen again, the Army Industrial College was established in 1924 to improve wartime procurement and mobilization processes. Although it closed during World War II, the school reopened in 1943 with the new goal of developing a joint war college, eventually becoming the modern NDU in 1976.

Busch graduated from the program in 1995, and several of his classmates have achieved prominence in their fields — for example, Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the first female four-star officer in the U.S. military. Relating stories from his own experience, Busch noted how his contact with classmates continuously proved beneficial over the years.

DLA currently has four members attending the Industrial College of the Armed Forces 2016 course at the Eisenhower School. DLA Chair and Assistant Professor Betty Hoapili described the event as enlightening for many students. 

“Each year, we look forward to hearing from the DLA director.” she said, “The students DLA sends to the Eisenhower School do a great job representing the agency and sharing the DLA message, but hearing from senior leaders like Lt. Gen. Busch is what makes our academic program so special….the fact that Lt. Gen. Busch is an alumnus made it even better!”