DLA leaders host Army counterparts to discuss logistics support

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Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Garas 

Senior Defense Logistics Agency and Army logisticians discussed reducing operating costs and coordinating future supply needs during a meeting May 8 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.

Army-DLA Day is an annual event in which senior officials and staff from the Army and DLA plan logistical needs and identify opportunities of mutual interests DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek co-hosted the event with Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics Lt. Gen. Ray Mason.

“We will continue to sustain the Army,” Harnitchek said “We need the Army to help us identify what they need.”

Harnitchek explained that despite current fiscal restraints, DLA is working with industry leaders to deliver superior performance.

“We’ve been able to reduce the level of inventory on hand, but still meet the customer with a 90 percent success rate,” Harnitchek said. “Three years ago, we were at 85 percent."

After the director’s opening comments, Mason led the discussion, which covered a variety of topics, from budgetary issues to the Army’s future focus in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.

Mason challenged those in attendance to think about the future, and that the Army’s focus is for 2025 and beyond.

“What does the Army need to look like?” Mason asked. “How do we need to structure it to get to 2025?”

Mason pointed to the Army’s close partnerships with the joint community, DLA and U.S. Transportation Command as strengths to lean on when missions change.

“Future operations will not be like the ones we had in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “They’ll be small unit deployments, very much like the company-sized elements we deployed recently in Poland and the Baltic states.”

Mason said he supports reducing inventory, but he cautioned that the Army cannot rely on “just-in-time logistics.”

“If we get the last bullet to the last Soldier just in time to kill the last bad guy, what happens if there’s another one?” he asked. “You have to have some type of inventory buildup.”

Photo: Army, DLA leaders
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Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics Lt. Gen. Ray Mason (left) and DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek discuss future logistical issues May 8 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex during Army-DLA Day. Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Garas
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