Colombian military officials learned about the inner workings of the Defense Logistics Agency March 5-7 during a visit to several of the agency’s activities.
The delegation of Colombian officers and civilians, led by Colombian Chief of Engineers Army Maj. Gen. Guillermo Suarez and Colombia’s military logistics agency Director Army Brig. Gen. Pablo Przychodny Jaramillo, visited DLA Troop Support in Philadelphia; DLA Distribution in New Cumberland, Pa., and DLA Energy and the Joint Contingency Acquisition Support Office at Fort Belvoir, Va.
The group visited DLA to learn about the agency’s mission and processes, said Ministry of Defense Director for Business Management Luz Stella Pàez Cañon. The Colombian military is looking to redesign its own logistics agency’s processes.
“It is of the highest priority of the Minister of Defense to reform [Colombia’s] logistics agency,” she said. “We’re trying to understand different business models so that we can build a vision of the future of the logistics agency in Colombia.”
Cañon said Colombia’s agency has a very broad portfolio, consisting of more than 13 supply chains. Part of the reform will be to narrow that portfolio to only a few, namely food, energy and infrastructure.
On March 5, the delegation traveled to Philadelphia to learn how DLA Troop Support manages its subsistence supply chain.
Jaramillo and his team had many questions for DLA Troop Support’s logisticians, including what U.S. laws and policies dictate military procurement practices; how long the procurement process takes; the average basic food allowance for soldiers; and how DLA builds flexibility into its contracts.
Jaramillo said the Colombian Ministry of Defense wants its logistics agency to become self-sufficient, so he was interested in how DLA operates through the Defense Working Capital Fund.
DLA Energy leaders hosted the Colombian delegation at the McNamara Headquarters Complex March 7.
DLA Energy Supplier Operations Deputy for Acquisition Bruce Blank and others briefed the group on DLA Energy’s organization and mission that included overviews on fuel acquisition, non-petroleum products, environmental issues, inventory, and defense fuel support points
“We’ve got the key senior [DLA] Energy team here, and we put together a presentation to guide us through the topics and focus on the things you said that are the most important to talk about,” DLA Energy Deputy Commander Michael Scott told the Colombians.
During the visit to DLA Energy, the delegation was looking for a better understanding of how the primary-level field activity does business, Blank said.
“We presented an overview of DLA Energy with a focus on the petroleum side of our business and the ways we manage products through the supply chain,” he said.
Blank said the presentation was well received by the visitors.
“I think the delegation got a good overview of our business,” he said. “They were very interested in our contracting procedures and the way petroleum standard prices are developed and used.”
The visits were part of DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek’s outreach initiative, a series of meetings with senior military leaders from the Defense Department, foreign military leaders and dignitaries, and others to explain how DLA can support them or update them on the support they receive.
The visits were supported by the Department of Defense through the Defense Institution Reform Initiative. The program, managed by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, helps develop defense establishments in partner countries that manage and sustain their national forces, according to the DSCA website.
Editor’s note: Bill Addison writes for DLA Troop Support Corporate Communications, and Terry Shawn writes for DLA Energy Public Affairs.
Defense Logistics Agency Energy leaders speak to Colombia’s military logistics agency representatives during a visit to the McNamara Headquarters Complex March 7. Photo by Chris Goulait
Richard Ellis, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support deputy commander (second from left), stands with members of the Colombia’s military logistics agency March 5 in Philadelphia. The Colombian delegation met with DLA Troop Support Subsistence leaders to learn how to improve their own food supply line. Photo by Bill Addison