The “bottom line” is to make the process better for U.S. clothing and textiles manufacturers to maintain their support of the warfighter, the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support commander said during a meeting with industry representatives July 20.

Army Brig. Gen. Charles Hamilton, along with other leaders from DLA Troop Support and the Clothing and Textiles supply chain, hosted a C&T Partners meeting to discuss support of military clothing and equipment items.

“We need to keep those discussions going,” Hamilton said. “These sessions are very important to me. I think it’s good dialogue and there’s no right or wrong. It’s how to get better.”

Among DLA Troop Support’s five supply chains, C&T has the most fragile industry base. And Hamilton said it’s the only industrial group he meets with in these types of forums. As DLA must comply with the Department of Defense’s Berry Amendment, Hamilton said it’s important to sustain domestic manufacturers for future military requirements.

The Berry Amendment requires DOD agencies to purchase food, clothing and textiles items from U.S. suppliers.

Forums such as C&T Partners serves as an opportunity for open discussion on overall industry business development activity, Roy Dillard, C&T director of supplier operations, said. C&T will also host the 2016 Joint Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry in the fall, where DLA and military service representatives will brief industry on future requirements and business opportunities.

During C&T Partners, industry representatives discussed sustaining current and future items, and training opportunities for C&T personnel.

Ashley Bullock, from the National Council of Textiles Organizations, said C&T staff are welcome to tour manufacturers’ facilities as an educational opportunity.

“From yarn-making to polyester, we think it’s a wonderful idea to get your next generation of contracting staff [to tour our plants].”

C&T’s culture improvement team has hosted visits to supplier sites in the past to provide employees first-hand exposure to the industrial base.

The C&T Partners consist of a representative from eight industry associations, including three trade associations, three suppliers and two joint government-industry committees.

Trade associations:

· American Apparel and Footwear Association

· National Council of Textile Organizations

· Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition

Mandatory suppliers:

· Federal Prison Industries

· National Industries for the Blind

· SourceAmerica

Joint government-industry committees

· DoD Glove Industry Committee

· DoD Technical Footwear Committee