Although many of U.S. Special Operations Command missions may be covert, the Defense Logistics Agency has been front and center in its support of the organization by establishing a new national account manager to best support USSOCOM’s needs.
Kevin Kachinski, a former DLA executive officer, was selected as the NAM for the command under DLA Logistics Operations in late July.
“About a year ago, this was just an idea, a discussion, of where can DLA better support the Department of Defense?” Kachinski said. “We [already] have support teams for each of the four military services, and one for federal agencies and international programs. This is an extension of that as the next iteration of our customer-facing focus.”
With the majority of DoD components rightsizing and getting smaller in recent years, USSOCOM is one arm of the department that is actually growing slightly, Kachinski said.
“It was a natural growth area for DLA to help synchronize and optimize USSOCOM’s logistics requirements with DLA’s capabilities,” he said. “DLA has a lot to offer. It’s important for us to be able to market that to special operations and for them to determine where DLA fits in their business lines. Right now, they are independently doing DLA-type work for their forces. Now, they can reach into the [agency’s logistics] powerhouse to figure out what parts they think will complement and add value to their missions. And we get to make that part of our standard mission set.”
Support to USSOCOM is not new to DLA, Kachinski said. DLA Troop Support, DLA Aviation and DLA Land and Maritime all have tailored support for special operations missions. But as USSOCOM’s footprint and counterterrorism mission has grown and expanded across the globe in recent years, DLA has realized its support needs to expand as well.
“Really all of our supply chains touch and support special operations forces in some way, shape or form,” he said. “So although we already support the service components, we can now bring it up a level and increase DLA’s support to SOCOM’s resource and equipment responsibilities.”
One of the projects that DLA hopes to help with is USSOCOM’s Sustainment Enterprise integrated process team, which is an internal program to streamline sustainment processes without impacting readiness. DLA has the “perfect” set of skills and logistics experience to help with this transformation initiative. , Kachinski said.
Other plans include a DLA Distribution initiative to support the Special Operations Forces Support Activity warehouse with storage and distribution expertise, Kachinski said.
Navy SEALs attack a simulated enemy threat during an exercise at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in 2013. U.S. Special Operations Command service members now have a national account manager to address and support the command’s unique needs at the Defense Logistics Agency. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Chris Griffin