By MAJ Carlos M. Cuebas, 1st MSC PAOAugust 6, 2013
San Juan, PR- Navy Rear Adm. Patricia Wolfe, Director of the Joint Reserve Force at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), met at Fort Buchanan with Brig. Gen. Fernando Fernandez, commander of the US Army Reserve 1st Mission Support Command, to formalize a strategic partnership by signing a Memorandum of Agreement between DLA and the largest US Army Reserve command of the Caribbean, Aug 3.
The agreement provides for the coordination and alignment of the 1st MSC resources in support to the full spectrum of DLA's military operations worldwide, within the Unified Combatant Commands.
"Last year, as we were looking for volunteers, we touched base with the US Army Reserve in Puerto Rico and we have now developed a strategic partnership with them to support our DLA mission in Afghanistan," said Wolfe.
DLA sources and provides nearly 100 percent of the consumable items America's military forces need to operate, from food, fuel and energy, to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment.
"Everywhere there is a military presence, DLA provides support,' said Wolfe.
In addition to the overall mission, the DLA disposition services team's mission manages and tracks the reuse, transfer, donation, sale or disposal of excess property.
With this mission in mind, DLA is in charge of bringing back and demilitarizing equipment, as operations decrease in Afghanistan.
According to Wolfe, over the last decade the US military has moved thousands of pieces of equipment, containers and materials into Afghanistan and now most of it will not go back to the Continental United States.
"There is a lot of equipment that is now considered excess and it is important that we demilitarize it, so it does not fall into the hands of the enemy," added Wolfe.
The Navy officer also explained how DLA is making the job of our troops safer during the drawdown operations.
"We have expanded our presence in Afghanistan from some core hubs for disposition sites, to a number of locations in the surrounding country side, where our Soldiers and Marines are located. This change keeps Soldiers off the road and keeps them safe," said Wolfe.
The Rear Admiral explained that the expansion of the DLA locations across the Afghan country has created the need for more trained military personnel who can work with the units as they turn in their equipment.
This is where the Soldiers of the US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico are making the difference.
"The 1st MSC Soldiers' volunteerism, willingness and enthusiasm to support the DLA mission is critical for us to be able to maintain the forward operations. I am so impressed with the Soldiers and the Sailors of Puerto Rico. The patriotism in this area of the country is great," added Wolfe.
Currently there are approximately 50 Soldiers from the US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico deployed in support of the DLA mission in Afghanistan. US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico officials estimate that the support to DLA from local troops will continue in the near future.