Serving as Chief, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Subsistence Customer Support Division has been an eye opener to the magnitude of services and support we offer to many customers worldwide.
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Troop Support Subsistence Team members (left to right) Patricia Scott, Deborah Sinno, and Lt. Cmdr. Deborah Davis-Reid review key performance metrics.
We provide dining hall support to our military and other authorized federal customers around the globe, we work with the Department of Agriculture to provide the highest quality and freshest produce for most of America’s schools, and we supply operational rations for our armed services, as well as humanitarian assistance in time of disaster.
One of our largest customers is the warfighter, who continues to support the numerous contingencies overseas. DLA Troop Support employees are present around the clock, no matter the mission or challenge, to provide superior support to our men and women fighting around the world.
I take great pride in the support members of the Subsistence team have given to the troops to assist them in accomplishing their goals.
The past 12 years of military combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have allowed us to continually evaluate and improve our capability to keep our warfighters fed in austere environments. The lessons we’ve learned there will help evolve DLA Troop Support Subsistence’s role for the future. Military logistical planners must factor many variables to develop future operations, with food being one of the most prevalent. To that end, we cannot become a limiting factor, and we must ensure we provide superior Class I support … anywhere in the world, and before it’s required.
But even more than the continued support we provide to our warfighters in contingency areas around the world, the flexibility of this organization to evolve to new and rapidly developing requirements is tremendous.
If you look back to October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast, our operations immediately shifted from a mindset of a wholesale provider of commodities to that of a retailer. This organization was rapidly assisting disaster survivors within hours after the storm. There was an immediate need, and our people worked tirelessly to ensure food and water arrived in a timely manner to the affected areas.
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Sgt. Joseph Barbado (right), a New Jersey National Guard Soldier, unloads heater meals from a five-ton truck at a point of distribution in Hoboken, N.J. this past November. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, DLA Troop Support supplied meals, generators and blankets to FEMA, as well as medical items to the Department of Health and Human Services.
(Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando Vasquez)
We also deployed people to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Defense (DoD) staging areas to work alongside the emergency workers and provide immediate assistance, while our contracting specialist were in the rear working with our industry partners to get emergency contracts in place. In total, we provided more than 6.2 million meals to the affected areas, and I’m proud to be a part of that legacy.
We’re also seeing a shift in the requirements for garrison support within the continental U.S. Services are trending away from the traditional centralized dining facility model and instead planning for smaller de-centralized facilities, which are closer to the consumers. These campus-style facilities allow for a greater variety of menu items and dining experiences.
I can tell you from my experience that the workforce at DLA Troop Support focuses on meeting the wants and needs of our service partners. Those partnerships are what will help us posture ourselves to deliver the highest level of service while providing the customer and the American taxpayer with the best value.
By Capt. Ricardo Wilson, Chief, Subsistence Customer Support Division, DLA Troop Support