DLA Strategic Plan 2021 - 2026

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Lines of Effort

  • Warfighter Always
  • Support to the Nation
  • Trusted Mission Partner
  • Modernized Acquisition and Supply Chain Management
  • Future of Work

DLA Critical Capabilities

  • People and Culture
  • Fiscal Stewardship
  • Digital-Business Transformation

Strategic Plan Execution

  • Key Elements
  • Governance
  • Key Performance Indicators

Vice Admiral Michelle C. Skubic

Director's Intent

Over more than six decades, the Defense Logistics Agency has established a strong reputation for service to the Warfighter and value to our nation. Keeping pace with today’s accelerating global challenges, DLA continues to maintain and enhance force readiness for our Military Services and Combatant Commands. DLA also stands ready to leverage our unique logistics capabilities in supporting a growing Whole of Government mission without compromising Warfighter support.

Our Strategic Plan meets the evolving requirements of the Warfighter and the nation with a targeted transformative approach encompassing the most critical priorities for the next five years. Grounded in the perspectives of customers, DoD partners, and our workforce, the strategy aligns DLA’s resources and efforts.

DLA’s collaboration with all our partners is paramount as we rapidly innovate at speed and scale to solve problems. We will continue to adapt our strategy as needed to reflect the rapidly changing, competitive environment in which we operate.

Focusing our efforts on the key elements articulated here – mission, vision, lines of effort and critical capabilities – enables us to address the complexities of today’s geo-political environment and the challenges of tomorrow. With a world-class DLA Team working to translate this plan into real results, we look forward to seeing our customers thrive with our support in a demanding and multifaceted world.

Thank you for your support in implementing this Strategic Plan. Most importantly, thank you for your commitment and service to our Warfighters and our nation. I look forward to working with each one of you as together, we build on our enduring legacy as the Nation’s Combat Logistics Support Agency.

- VADM Michelle C. Skubic
Defense Logistics Agency Directo

Transforming Global Logistics

As the Nation’s Combat Logistics Support Agency, we must lean forward to address new challenges that threaten our global environment. We will meet those threats and the evolving needs of the Warfighter and nation with this Strategic Plan, which identifies our most critical priorities and will transform our business processes over the next five years. Though this transformation will not encompass all of DLA’s day-to-day activities, these core objectives will have the greatest impact on our ability to achieve mission success.


About DLA

Learn more about the Defense Logistics Agency:

  • About DLA: Find quick facts and an overview of the agency
  • History: Discover the origins of DLA
  • News: See what the agency's up to

DLA's Mission


Deliver readiness and lethality to the Warfighter Always and support our nation through quality, proactive global logistics


DLA's Vision


As the Nation’s Combat Logistics Support Agency and valued partner, we are innovative, adaptable, agile, and accountable – focused on the Warfighter Always


Lines of Effort

This is an unprecedented time in an increasingly complex global environment. The balance of power across the world is changing, creating new threats.

We are faced with many challenges: budget and procurement, pandemics, escalating climate crises, cyber and digital threats, international economic disruptions, protracted humanitarian crises, violent extremism and terrorism, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

DLA’s plans, processes and actions must focus on agile, innovative solutions that increase readiness and lethality for the Combatant Commands and the Joint Task Force, particularly in a distributed, contested logistics environment.
A munitions display demonstrates the full capabilities of the B-52 Stratofortress
Our five Lines of Effort identify the most critical focus areas for DLA over the next five years. Each LOE has one or more underlying objectives with specific initiatives, milestones, and metrics that will support the execution of this transformation and have the greatest impact on our ability to serve the Warfighter and the nation.

  • LOE 1: Warfighter Always: Tailored solutions to drive readiness
  • LOE 2: Support to the Nation: Deliberate approach, without tradeoff to the Warfighter
  • LOE 3: Trusted Mission Partner: Transparency and accountability to our customers
  • LOE 4: Modernized Acquisition and Supply Chain Management: Leading in logistics to deliver best value and manage risk
  • LOE 5: Future of Work: Adapting to new ways of working
  • A servicemember peers out from inside a vehicle with another behind them at a mounted gunObjective 1.1: Improve end-to-end readiness and cost-effectiveness in support of Combatant Commander Campaign Plans and Integrated Contingency Plans in competitive and contested logistics environments
  • Objective 1.2: Partner with customers at the wholesale and retail levels to address service-specific challenges and develop solutions
  • Objective 1.3: Proactively support the DoD Nuclear Enterprise and Space Enterprise

DLA’s support to the Warfighter is job one. It’s our core strategic priority. We must provide the right support in the right places at the right times.

The military services and combatant commands have unique needs and capabilities requiring customized solutions.

It’s imperative for DLA to make smart, disciplined investments in innovative tailored logistics solutions to increase and sustain weapons system and warfighting readiness – including our nation’s strategic deterrent – to meet today’s requirements and prepare for the future fight.

  • A photo montage showing various medical, firefighting and governmental supportObjective 2.1: Implement a deliberate, enterprisewide approach to Whole of Government support.

Capitalizing on our scope, scale and skills in acquisition, storage, distribution, and surge capabilities, the Nation has increasingly called upon DLA to provide Whole of Government support.

DoD is redoubling its commitment to a cooperative, whole-of-nation approach to national security that builds consensus, drives creative solutions to crises, to guarantee that we lead from a position of strength.

As part of this effort, this LOE clarifies a deliberate approach to our Whole of Government mission with no cost trade-off to the Warfighter.

  • Three employees gathered around a table construct military service insignia with hardwareObjective 3.1: Implement customer-centric performance metrics and predictive problem-solving culture
  • Objective 3.2: Provide greater financial transparency to customers
  • Objective 3.3: Provide next generation customer service, including a customer feedback mechanism

Building trust begins with understanding our customers’ priorities. Through a collaborative, data-driven problem-solving culture, we will pursue viable solutions to these critical challenges.

DLA will improve trust and transparency by enhancing customer-facing tools and software, formalizing customer feedback and increasing collaboration at all levels. We will align performance metrics and targets to ensure we are accountable to our customers.

  • Objective 4.1: Expand industry engagement to foster innovation and maximize value for our customers
  • Objective 4.2: Improve the end-to-end post-award segment to enable collaborative customer support, increase responsiveness, and manage costs
  • Objective 4.3: Develop a market intelligence capability to manage supply chain risk and drive best value
  • Objective 4.4: Enhance our acquisition capabilities to improve readiness for contingencies

The global logistics environment is rapidly evolving and increasingly interconnected. DLA must work closely with industry partners to modernize and streamline our acquisition and end-to-end supply chains to deliver increased readiness and maintain our competitive advantage.

Through strong partnerships with our suppliers, and an enhanced focus on market intelligence capabilities, DLA will continue building a diverse, resilient, and agile industrial base to reduce supply chain risk and drive the best value for our customers.

Given the increasing number of global contingencies, this will better position us and our partners to meet the accelerating challenges in an ever-changing world.

At the heart of this LOE is the ability to increasingly harness and analyze business performance data to make informed, risk-based decisions and develop actionable solutions to improve customer outcomes for routine and contingency operations.

A graphic shows a computer with a virtual meeting taking place

  • Objective 5.1: Redefine virtual work models to enable our next generation workforce
  • Objective 5.2: Assess DLA CONUS facilities footprint to maximize space utilization
  • Objective 5.3: Build skillsets of the future

The workplace is increasingly virtual, reducing the need for a large physical footprint. Ongoing modernization efforts such as the use of mobile tablets, voice technology, autonomous guided vehicles and other advances to optimize warehouse operations all impact the future of work. DLA will continue adapting to these changes as it attracts and sustains a competitive workforce to drive increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

Creating an optimal work environment for employees that is modern, safe, secure, and well maintained will help increase retention and expand our access to diverse talent pools.


Critical Capabilities

Two workers in a warehouse examine paperwork with shelves of storage bins in the backgroundThe three Critical Capabilities are fundamental to our successful transformation. They intersect and support the five LOEs with specific underlying objectives, initiatives and metrics.

  • CC-A: People and Culture: Supporting our people
  • CC-B: Fiscal Stewardship: Investing in outcomes
  • CC-C: Digital-Business Transformation: Embracing the future

In these areas, DLA must be ready to act, adapt, reform, and embrace change to improve our organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

Two charts show the differences in DLA's Culture/Climate Survey results from 2018 to 2020

  • Objective A1: People
  • Objective A2: Culture

Our most important asset as an agency is our people. This capability aligns DLA’s proven human capital strategies with our mission, LOEs, and objectives.

Our ability to attract, develop, and retain a diverse, skilled, and agile workforce is vital to our continued success.

To achieve a shared vision with the agency’s Strategic Plan, all DLA organizations, employees and leaders must work together to fortify the culture, reward high performance, build connections, and prioritize safety of the workforce.

Coworkers have a discussion around a conference table with charts displayed on screens behind them

  • Objective B1: Auditability
  • Objective B2: Cost visibility and cash management
  • Objective B3: Investment to drive efficiency and effectiveness

In an increasingly resource-constrained environment we will drive cost effectiveness while maintaining service readiness. We must effectively manage our resources while making smart, transformative investments that increase value for our customers and taxpayers.

Through enhanced tools and capabilities, we will improve our cost and cash management for the DLA Working Capital Fund.

We will assess our work processes and the effectiveness of current internal controls to provide greater transparency, improve auditability and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.

A graphic showing a computer with the DLA Dashboard application

  • Objective C1: Transformational information technology capabilities
  • Objective C2: Advanced analytics and automation
  • Objective C3: Cybersecurity
  • Objective C4: Technology governance

Technology is changing at an exponential rate, generating new possibilities in logistics and customer support. It is also increasing the capabilities of our competitors, the risks to our supply chains and operations.

We are focusing our IT and digital capability investments on key areas that will enable us to enhance performance, reduce costs, and make more predictive and data-driven decisions.

We will transform our systems and processes to improve transparency, reliability, and security for our employees, customers, and suppliers.

We will work internally and with our partners to ensure the agency’s network, systems, and data are protected from emerging and complex cyber threats.


Strategic Plan Execution

Dedicated commitment at all levels is key to the successful implementation of DLA’s strategy. Fully engaged leaders and results-driven teams will be instrumental to progress and continuous momentum.

Senior leader oversight throughout the agency will ensure the plan remains on track, properly resourced, and risks and obstacles are quickly mitigated.

A group is gathered in a warehouse, showing the expanse of the warehouse behind themThis transformation strategy embodies five key elements:

  • Engaged Leadership: Enabling individuals and small teams to perform
  • Empowered Working Teams: Making timely decisions to drive execution
  • Cross-functional Collaboration: Synchronizing planning and execution
  • Flexible and Iterative Execution Processes: Using agile “test and learn” approach
  • Outcome-based Targets: Measuring progress based on results

A box moves along a conveyor belt with a sign labeled
DLA’s transformation will be governed through structured reviews to monitor progress against the plan.

The overarching strategy will be re-evaluated periodically through senior-level governance forums to validate and reprioritize initiatives, tasks, and metrics to ensure our strategy remains aligned with the ever-changing operating environment.

Progress against the plan will be monitored using a set of enterprise Key Performance Indicators.

A photo montage showing warehousing, fuel, delivery, disposition and other areas of DLA supportThese KPIs collectively measure critical customer, supplier, business health, and employee metrics.

  • Service Readiness: Reduce the number of weapons systems that are non-mission capable due to DLA parts
  • Supply Availability: Use customer-centric supply availability to measures our ability to meet day-to-day customer needs
  • Acquisition Timeliness: Meet on-time delivery and decrease production lead time
  • Business Health: Maintain a strong and sustainable financial position
  • Liquidity: Optimize cash levels to meet day-to-day operational requirements
  • Price Competitiveness: Provide the best value at the right price
  • Customer Satisfaction: Honor our commitments to the customer and capture their feedback
  • Employee Engagement: Inspire employees to enthusiastically fulfill every aspect of the mission