MARIANAS, Guam –
In the sixth iteration of the biennial field training exercise Valiant Shield, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Guam, Marianas once again became the primary logistics hub for all cargo marked for activities participating in the event, which focused on integrated joint training among U.S. forces.
The distribution center saw a significant spike in workload of more than 110 percent in the Material Processing Center cargo handling and processing operations. The DLA Distribution MPC program was the key component in ensuring all cargo processed into the Distribution Standard System was accounted for: from time of receipt to staging in presorted cargo lanes to material manifesting and then on to final delivery to the customer.
Valiant Shield increases participants’ ability to plan, communicate and conduct complex maritime operations. The exercise training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.
This year’s participants included 18,000 personnel and more than 180 aircraft from the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, nine surface ships, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, an Air Force aggressor and bomber squadrons.
The exercise resulted in joint efforts between DLA Distribution Guam and two separate Navy beach detachment groups: one from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the other from the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, which provided guidance at the distribution center to segregate and locate high-visibility cargo urgently needed for the mission and expeditious delivery of materials to meet carrier onboard delivery flights.
A first for Valiant Shield 2016, DLA Distribution also participated by conducting a Proof of Principle demonstration of the Distribution Supply Vessel, which is a deployable material distribution support function in an Area Access/Area Denial environment, designed to provide a flexible and responsive storage and distribution solution to warfighters. Approximately 80 high-demand National Stock Numbers were positioned on a naval afloat support vessel participating in the exercise, allowing a requisition to be filled within hours, instead of from a land-based distribution center.
“All DSV objectives were accomplished which included an inventory transfer, distribution system interactions, processing and logistical support,” said Macy Ooka, director of the distribution center. “Lessons learned from this initial Proof of Principle demonstration will be used to continue the evolution of the DSV into a repeatable and refined process that supports warfighter demands and satisfies audit readiness standards.”
The team also successfully integrated a Distribution Liaison Cell on board DLA Distribution Guam, Marianas, during the exercise. The DLC was manned by marines from the Combat Logistics Battalion 31 of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit assigned to the USS Bonhomme Richard. The DLC concept provides a forward deployed force to enhance material velocity and front-to-end in-transit visibility of cargo movement and sustainment, providing the Marine Expeditionary Unit commander a responsive and effective capability to manage the unit’s distribution pipeline, ultimately improving equipment readiness, and uninterrupted distribution support to all MEU elements. DLA Distribution Guam, Marianas provided the facility, information technology connectivity, and immediate access to their cargo, resulting in a successful evolution.
“This year’s VS16 was a tremendous success,” said Franklin Leon Guerrero, deputy director of the distribution center. “The prior planning sessions, which began months before the exercise, were instrumental in identifying and resolving in advance logistical and procedural challenges which resulted in the smoothest exercise execution in years!”