News | Oct. 3, 2016

Aviation Leader Commentary: Enhanced warfighter support

By Paul Hughes, Customer Operations Directorate deputy director DLA Aviation

Plain and simple, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Customer Operations Directorate’s Mapping Division exists solely to serve the warfighter.  It’s their passion and the passion of all DLA Aviation employees.  

If you need to see an example of just how dedicated they are, look no further than Danielle Booker, a logistics management specialist and the division’s print-on-demand program manager.  Her exemplary work ethic and devotion to the warfighter sets the bar high at DLA Aviation every day. 

In early 2014, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, who historically bulk printed maps and other geospatial intelligence products, formulated a concept to reduce or stop accrual and retention of excess stock, by printing only as needed, where needed.  Partnering with DLA Document Services, Print-on-Demand, or POD, was born, replacing an outdated inventory ordering method and ushering in a new business model for DLA Aviation’s mapping customer operations. 

Danielle, along with other DLA team members, guided this new PoD method into reality and enabled DLA to print what the warfighter needed, when and where they needed it, and ensured the products represented the latest and greatest “geo-intel” information available.  With this new world-class process, we achieved an astounding 90 percent reduction of “on-the-shelf” mapping products.

PoD revolutionized how we deliver products to the point-of-need and enabled a cultural change within DLA and the military services illustrating how, by always striving for process excellence, we can improve our capability to satisfy needs.  With numerous PoD sites optimally located around the world, getting maps into the warfighter’s hands has never been easier or more efficient. 

Even though POD is a proven success, we aren’t content with stopping there.  We continued to look for opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our support to the warfighter.

During most of 2016, Danielle’s job has included managing DLA Aviation’s equity in standing up the Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Intelligence Readiness Operations Center and DLA’s stake in that, the Geospatial-Intelligence Forward Presence Team. Her ingenuity and commitment were crucial to bringing our most recent warfighter initiative to reality.  She masterfully bonded a team together in an interagency partnership which proved integral to making the FIROC successful.

Located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the FIROC serves as a one-stop shop for special operations, rapid deployment and others forces for geo-intel products. With 80 percent of the Army falling under FORSCOM, the FIROC becomes a force multiplier to PoD customized map support, and improves our agility and responsiveness to the needs of the warfighter.  It is a unique representation of two of DLA’s five strategic goals: Warfighter First and Process Excellence. It’s an innovative and collaborative program, blending the best-in-class processes of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, DLA Document Services, DLA Distribution, the DLA Aviation’s mapping customer operation’s forward presence team and FORSCOM. 

All organizations and functions are co-located under one roof, which makes the FIROC’s relevance even more powerful.  A warfighter can physically walk into the FIROC, describe a customized product they need, and in a short time, walk out with that exact product.  Through all the functional players working together, in real time, many issues that would otherwise linger can be resolved almost instantly.  As word of this initiative and our quality of service has spread, the skyrocketing level of customer interest is a great indicator we’ve created something special.  We think our model will become the preferred way to support military customized geo-intel requirements around the world.    

The FIROC is uniquely special.  As is the intensely proficient Danielle, who spent many weeks, on location, working tirelessly with our partner organizations, to grow the FIROC from just a dream to reality.  She exhibits DLA’s culture and values of “Warfighter First” and “Process Excellence” every day.