Defense logistics workers support aviation assets
The Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 – known for bringing the Army Materiel Command, the Security Assistance Command, the 2nd Recruiting Brigade and other new tenants to Redstone Arsenal – can also take credit for growing the local footprint of a joint Department of Defense organization involved in providing aviation and missile parts for the Army.
Since the mid-2000s, the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation has had a presence at Redstone, with a handful of employees who provide customer support to the Aviation and Missile Command’s Logistics Center and the Program Executive Office for Aviation.
“As part of our outgrowth of a supply chain cradle-to-grave focus, we established onsite customer service support,” DLA Aviation’s commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott Jansson said.
“Redstone Arsenal was part of that effort as we assigned eight of our employees to support Army operational and industrial requirements at Redstone.”
With BRAC 2005, DLA Aviation took on a new mission – procurement of depot-level repairables. As a result, its presence at Redstone grew from eight employees to nearly 70.
“Our employees work side by side with Aviation and Missile Command employees to ensure that the command has the right parts and the quality parts to fill industrial and operational Army requirements. By being located here, we ensure we have optimal communications to develop the acquisition strategies needed to support our customer,” the general said.
“Another advantage of having a presence here is the close interaction our employees can have with the program offices in the Program Executive Offices on both the aviation and missile side.”
Jansson visited DLA Aviation’s Redstone Arsenal customers last week, taking time to meet Army aviation leadership while also becoming more familiar with the organization’s work at Redstone. He also visited with DLA Aviation employees.
Headquartered at Defense Supply Center Richmond in Richmond, Va., DLA Aviation operates in 18 U.S. locations, with more than 3,400 civilian and military employees supporting more than 1,400 weapon systems. It is the military’s integrated materiel manager for more than 1.4 million repair parts and 1.1 million operating supply items. More than 444,000 of the items managed by DLA Aviation are aviation parts, including spares for engines on fighters, bombers, fixed wing aircraft and helicopters; airframe and landing gear parts; flight safety equipment; and propeller systems.
“We provide both consumable parts for aircraft and missiles, and depot-level repairable parts, and so our focus is making sure we understand the Army requirements for those parts,” Jansson said. “We want to make sure to develop and execute acquisition strategies to meet Army aviation needs.”
DLA Aviation is a joint organization responsible for more than $4.4 billion in aviation parts sales to the four Department of Defense branches. But it isn’t Jansson’s first joint assignment. His previous assignment was as director of the Iraq Security Assistance Mission for U.S. Forces-Iraq from March 2010 to March 2011. During his Air Force career, he has held several acquisition and sustainment engineering, program management, command and staff positions, including group commander and system program manager for the F-16 program, wing commander for two different wings, and vice commander for Ogden Air Logistics Center in Utah. Among his honors are a Legion of Merit with an oak leaf cluster and a Bronze Star.
“Working in a joint organization is a little bit of a challenge,” Jansson said. “But I served for a year in Iraq with a joint organization that was Army-centric. I learned a lot about Army acronyms and how the Army does things. It was a bit of a challenge learning the supply chain business because every service does things a bit differently.
“But learning the best practices of the different services makes me a better leader. And it will benefit what I do in future Air Force jobs because I will take those best practices with me.”
The focus throughout DLA Aviation is on improving support for the war fighter.
“We’ve seen a reduction in back orders both at the Army depot and operational levels,” Jansson said. “In 15 months, we’ve had an 8 percent reduction in back orders, and we hope to continue and accelerate that.
“On the DLA procurement side, we’ve seen a 26 percent reduction in lead times in providing parts, and we’ve reached 95 percent or better for both aviation and missiles in terms of contract on time delivery.”
Jansson is proud of the work DLA Aviation employees have done to support their customer, both at Redstone and throughout the world.
“In any job, I get great satisfaction when our team can provide top-notch support to our customers, particularly our war fighters,” he said.
At Redstone, Jansson expects DLA Aviation employees to “increase communications with customers to better understand requirements and priorities; and continue to improve at all levels of support.”
DLA Aviation employees at Redstone are scattered throughout the installation to be close to the organization’s customers.
“The level of our work force here is dictated by the level of requirements from the Army,” Jansson said. “DLA Aviation has a bright future because we support all military services’ aviation requirements. Those requirements won’t go away. As aviation systems change or weapon systems change, those requirements will change, but the requirements will always be there.”