SDDC centralizes regional storage inspection functions at Scott AFB
March 17, 2014
Change is in the air these days at Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to continue cutting costs, gain more efficiency, and set the command's course to sustain the Warfighter of 2015 and beyond.
One of the changes is the disestablishment of SDDC's four geographically separated Regional Storage Management Offices and centralizing their functions into one Storage Management Office in the command's Personal Property Directorate at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
The RSMOs, currently located in California, Kansas, New Jersey and Georgia, support the Defense Personal Property Program by inspecting about 2,700 contracted commercial storage facilities nationwide. Their function is to ensure each facility meets rigid government standards when storing household goods for service members, federal employees, and their families.
The new Storage Management Office will execute the same responsibilities as the RSMOs with 11 transportation experts assigned to it. The office is expected to be stood up sometime between May and September.
"This [RSMO transfer] is a huge challenge," said Craig McKinley, chief of acquisition and services division for SDDC's Personal Property Directorate. "But we also see this transfer as a huge opportunity for us to be more efficient with our Non-Temporary Storage Inspection program."
"With this consolidation, we will also need to revise our inspection methodology," said Navy Capt. Aaron Stanley, director of SDDC's Personal Property. "We can't afford to go out and inspect every facility twice a year with 11 inspectors, so we need a smarter plan. For example, if we have a facility that has a solid history of meeting, or exceeding, government standards and safety practices, is there a reason to inspect this facility as often?"
Stanley said a better approach might be to inspect top performing facilities less frequently. But he also said if there is a facility that has been struggling to pass its inspections, then it only makes sense to give them a little more attention.
Currently, SDDC records indicate that at any given time about 5 to 7 percent of storage facilities are borderline in meeting government standards and are prime candidates for a more aggressive inspection schedule.
"With this work transfer, we're refining our methodology to what makes the best sense," Stanley said.
McKinley said as they refine the program, they will have to make sure it works fairly and is distributed correctly.
Along with performing routine facility inspections, personnel in the NTS Inspection program also respond anywhere in the country when an unusual occurrence or natural disaster occurs.
"Our folks were key in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," McKinley said. "They went to affected areas and inspected warehouse facilities. Another example was our folks played an important role when the flooding around Minot Air Force Base, N.D. [June 2011] occurred in which they found alternative facilities meeting government standards to store service members' household goods.
The NTS Inspection program is responsible for inspecting non-temporary and in-transit household goods storage facilities, performing audits, reviewing storage rates, investigating and reporting on incidents, responding to complaints and reviewing/approving short fused facility requests during peak moving season, just to name a few.
Department of Defense has contracted with commercial storage facilities for service members' household goods for more than 55 years. Prior to 1956, most DOD-sponsored personal property was stored in 15 Army quartermaster depots throughout the Unuited States.
As a major subordinate command of Army Materiel Command and the Army Service Component Command to U.S. Transportation Command, SDDC is responsible for planning, booking, shipping and tracking cargo; conducting port operations; and managing personal property moves for America's Warfighters, other federal employees and their families. The command also leverages commercial transportation industry as the coordinating link between DOD surface transportation requirements and the capability industry provides.