Focus on supply, storage and distribution mission transfer

The Army Materiel Command's G3/5 and the Defense Logistics Agency's J39 recently hosted a workshop Jan. 13 and 14 at Fort Belvoir, Va., focused on the execution of BRAC action 177, transfer of the supply, storage and distribution mission from AMC to DLA.

AMC and DLA leadership set a clear vision and direction to the over 100 participants. The goal of this BRAC decision is to improve the effectiveness of DoD industrial maintenance sites by transferring the non-core functions of SS&D to DLA. The BRAC process is part of a larger DoD strategy to transform the military force to one that is more agile, flexible, and can focus more power quickly, exactly where it is needed.

Specifically BRAC action 177 directs the Army to consolidate the SS&D functions and associated inventories of Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., Anniston Army Depot, Ala., and Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas, with all other SS&D functions and inventories that exist at the co-located defense distribution depots at Tobyhanna, Anniston, and Corpus Christi respectively. The three impacted Army maintenance depots and their co-located defense distribution depots will retain the minimum necessary inventories required to support their local industrial operations. All other national level inventories will be relocated to DLA strategic distribution platforms at Susquehanna, Pa., Warner Robbins, Ga., and Oklahoma City.

The BRAC legislation directs that implementation be completed by Sept. 15, 2011. The Army will be the last of the four services to implement BRAC action 177. This enables the Army to benefit from lessons learned from other service implementations and to fully implement their modernized Enterprise Resource Planning system, the Logistics Modernization Program, at the impacted Army maintenance depots. The goal is to implement this BRAC realignment while ensuring the depots continue to provide uninterrupted support to the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The expected end state is that performance will continue at the same or higher levels while operational costs will remain steady or decrease. The current schedule is to implement at Tobyhanna during the 2nd quarter FY 10, Corpus Christi during the 2nd quarter FY11, and at Anniston during the 3rd quarter FY 11.

Although Red River Army Depot, Texas, and Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa., are not specifically identified in the BRAC legislation, the Army plans to implement the BRAC realignment model at these depots subsequent to the other three. This will ensure uniformity of operations across the AMC maintenance depot base.

The workshop stage was set for participants by opening remarks from Jim Dwyer, AMC G3/5 director of support operations, who told participants that "Army depots are about production - $6.4 billion in production last year and the workload is not going down anytime soon." He continued by stressing that "The work of this group is to define how we will transition and how will we handle parts inside the depots. The results of this transition must be seamless and invisible to the depots and the warfighters."

Louise Terrell, deputy DLA J39, added that "DLA recognizes the Army is different from any of the other military service implementations due in part to the Army ERP system, LMP."

She challenged DLA participants "to ensure they pay attention to the customer (Army) requirements and not be unduly influenced by the other military service implementations." She further challenged Army to "make sure you are a demanding customer."

Among several informational briefings provided on the first day of the workshop, the participants were briefed on the three tiered Army BRAC action 177 governance structure. An Executive Leadership Team oversees implementation; Implementation Leads execute implementation; and Integrated Process Teams develop the functional details and requirements as determined by the ILs. IPTs are comprised of military, government civilian, and contractor subject matter experts. There are seven IPTs: SS&D; human performance; financial management; metrics; facilities and equipment; information technology; and change management.

A Plan of Action and Milestones will be used to monitor key BRAC Action 177 implementation events and to manage functional implementation. The POAM will define specific tasks necessary to support a successful transfer of functions and people, without degradation of materiel readiness and support to the warfighter and without an operational cost increase.

During the Workshop, IPTs conducted an initial review of the tasks in their POAM sections, drafted and finalized IPT charters and established their future meeting frequency and goals. The initial IPT meetings resulted in significant bonding between AMC and DLA participants and a synergistic approach began to emerge. Since DLA IPT members are veterans of other service implementations, they contributed invaluable lessons learned. The Army IPT members highlighted Army uniquenesses and the parties worked together to begin melding these into the Army POAM.

Dwyer closed the workshop by reminding participants that, "Our number one and overriding priority is the warfighter."

Dwyer stressed that the people transferring to DLA must continue to provide parts support and everyone must understand that moving to DLA is not a bad thing. "The transition must now and continue to be viewed from a positive perspective or we run the risk of losing employees."

He continued, "If not for DLA, we would not produce anything from our depots. What was put into motion by this workshop and its attendees will have a huge impact on how well the Army performs its depot maintenance mission in 2010 and 2011."

Ron Davis, AMC G4/7/9 deputy chief of staff, echoed Dwyer's comments and cautioned that "People and taking care of their concerns will be the hardest part of the BRAC transition."

Bill Budden, DLA J39 director, closed by telling participants that, "Most of the people on the DLA team have already been through the other military service transitions and have successfully integrated about 1,400 employees into the DLA workforce." He stressed that, "If there are issues that cannot be resolved, then get them to the leadership as soon as possible."