By Gerry J. Gilmore
Nov. 20, 2006 – Whether it's an infantryman in Iraq needing a new firing pin for his rifle or a fighter pilot on a carrier in the Persian Gulf who needs to replace a cracked landing strut, the Defense Logistics Agency stands ready to support warfighters worldwide, the organization's director said in a recent interview. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deployed around the world supporting the global war against terrorism routinely make requests from their units for critically needed supplies, Army Lt. Gen. Robert T. Dail told the Pentagon Channel.
"It may be a part that keeps an airplane down; it may be a part that's keeping a tank or a mechanized piece of equipment down. It may be something that keeps your rifle from operating correctly," said Dail, who oversees the agency's operations frpom its Fort Belvoir, Va., headquarters.
Requests for parts, fuel, food, and other material necessary to support troops in the field, Dail explained, are forwarded to DLA's supply requisition and delivery system, which the agency monitors.
DLA fills combatant commanders' supply requisitions from its stateside- or overseas-based depots, Dail said. The agency can track supply shipments, he noted, through the use of radio frequency tags that are fastened to all outgoing orders.
Dail said the tracking system "is very elaborate, and it allows us to better manage and make decisions to ship critical supplies to the troops that really need them in fighting locations."
The agency's partnership with U.S. Transportation Command, the three-star general noted, enables swift delivery of needed parts and other supplies to Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine units serving worldwide.
"Whether it's a repair part, or it's an item of equipment that's very important to the troop, that will be immediately shipped, and within days, or sometimes even less than a day, depending on where our parts (are located) and the way the item is stocked," Dail said.
The agency's Deployment and Distribution Operations Centers exemplify DLA's drive to modernize and transform its business practices, Dail pointed out. The centers, he noted, have contributed mightily to the agency's goal of maintaining timely and efficient global supply operations.
The D-DOCs are deployed directly into combat theaters, Dail explained, noting they merge DLA- and individual services-managed supply operations with U.S. TRANSCOM's rapid-delivery capabilities.
"And because of that, we have be able to lever the unique capabilities of the agency at forward stocking locations like Kuwait, Baghdad, Afghanistan - and it allows us to integrate the unique industry capabilities and sources of supplies from DLA into the military operations," Dail noted.
The D-DOCs have achieved notable success, Dail said. Additionally, he added, they illustrate "the strong partnership and enterprise that has been created now in the Department of Defense, between the services, Transportation Command, and the Defense Logistics Agency."
Today, DLA continues to strengthen its relationships with suppliers and industry as part of the agency's mission "to provide world-class support to America's military," Dail said.
"We will never forget that mission," he emphasized, "and we will do our best to provide them with the kind of support that American men and women who bravely serve in uniform so richly deserve."
Article sponsored by Coast Guard Gifts and Police Officer turned law enforcement writer.