By Cheryl RodewigNovember 28, 2012
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Nov. 28, 2012) -- Years of planning went into a structural change this fall that brought the Army's Directorates of Logistics under the Army Materiel Command.
The change, which went into effect Oct. 1, affects 73 directorates: 49 in the U.S. and 24 abroad.
"Our mission is to provide installation-level logistics services to all organizations on Fort Benning as well as about 112 counties of area support across western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the panhandle of Florida," said Dave Shepherd, Fort Benning director of logistics. "That doesn't change. In fact, the basic premise is that this will be a seamless transition. The garrison commander will still be involved in synchronizing and integrating our logistics support to the installation. It does not impact our support to customers. They continue to receive the high level of logistic support -- or better."
Fort Benning's DOL now reports to the 406th Army Field Support Brigade, based out of Fort Bragg, N.C. The 406th has 11 other DOLs on the East Coast, but Fort Benning's is by far the largest, accounting for more than 1,800 employees.
"It's because of the size of the installation," said Shepherd, explaining that the entire East Coast, including Louisiana, has only about 3,000 employees in its DOLs. "And it's because of the size of the training mission: 54 percent of all Soldiers coming in the Army train at Fort Benning."
Before the change, the post DOL was an Installation Management Command asset and reported directly to the garrison. Now, the directorate is in support of the garrison, but takes its personnel actions, funding, training and business processes from AMC.
"It's an effort to put functions under Army commands that do those things as their core missions," Shepherd said. "This has … aligned installation-level logistics under Army Material Command in accordance with the Army's Campaign Plan."
Being moved under AMC has helped DOLs standardize and streamline logistical operations across the Army, he said.
An example is consolidating logistics contracts from nearly 150 to only 40.
"The concept is we'll be able to improve our logistical capabilities and support during times of very austere funding," Shepherd said. "There's always room for improvement. Resources will be a challenge, so it's imperative we get more efficient in the services we offer."
Currently two months into the switch, Shepherd said he hasn't experienced any major changes -- just the natural learning curve of getting to know a new command.
"We're still here to provide that quality service to the Soldiers," he said.
The 406th Army Field Support Brigade is one of several brigades taking responsibility for the 73 stateside DOLs. The field support brigades and 26 of the smaller directorates now report directly to Army Sustainment Command, which in turn reports to AMC. Overseas DOLs are expected to transition to AMC in the coming months, Shepherd said.