By Defense Logistics Agency - Agency Synchronization Operations Center (ASOC)
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) began planning support for COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical/pharmaceutical requirements in February. As employees across DLA’s supply chains anticipated needs for supplies, it became clear most demand within the United States would be routed to the agency through U.S. Army North (USARNORTH), U.S. Northern Command’s theater Army. As the Defense Department’s Joint Force Land Component Commander (JFLCC) for the pandemic response, USARNORTH provided multi-component, expeditionary medical capabilities to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency at nationwide hospitals.
To support global contingency or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, DLA maintains three Rapid Deployment Teams (RDT Red, White, and Blue) to send forward during response efforts. RDT Blue, led by Navy Capt. Timothy Bellott, was activated to support DoD and USARNORTH’s response. As the demand for DLA support grew, the 13 member RDT transitioned from a short-term rapid support element to a more robust DLA Support Team (DST).
Bellott deployed in early April to Joint Base San Antonio , Texas, with the DST expeditionary contracting officer to coordinate directly with JFLCC leadership and logistics and medical staff. While other DST members provided support from their home stations, the physical presence of Bellott and the expeditionary contracting officer in the JFLCC Joint Logistics Operation Center enabled the team to quickly identify and track high-priority requirements for lifesaving PPE. Bellott said sharing those requirements as they emerged enabled supply chain experts to lean forward in working with industry partners to expedite PPE production and provide targeted support to the most critical areas.
To coordinate the growing response among multiple players and facilitate real-time solution development, Bellott later deployed additional DST members to U.S. Army’s 377th Theater Sustainment Command at Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana; 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC), Fort Bragg, North Carolina; 4th ESC, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; and 13th ESC, Fort Hood, Texas.
“Units continued to use service requisition systems or FedMall to place orders, but the DST ensured supply chain managers throughout DLA knew requirements ahead of time. That helped prioritize procurement focus areas,” said Bellott. The DST matched DLA capabilities with JFLCC requirements for 70 days before deactivating at the end of May 2020.
Upon returning to DLA Headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and standing down the DST, Bellott was selected as chief of the DLA Agency Synchronization Operations Center (ASOC). The ASOC develops a collaborative, enterprisewide common operational picture for the agency by leveraging predictive analytic tools such as the DLA Service Readiness Dashboard, which collects real-time data on the agency’s impact on military weapon systems.
In his new role, Bellott leads a 66-member team of military and civilian employees who synchronize and integrate DLA’s operational mission and business support functions to provide agile, global support to DoD and other federal agencies.
The ASOC conducts deliberate planning, exercise support and provides urgent logistics support during disaster relief and humanitarian aid efforts; such as a hurricane, earthquake, and COVID-19 pandemic. The ASOC provides integrated, 24/7 situational awareness of worldwide events and ties them to DLA activities.
“The ASOC is always prepared to drive crisis-management execution across DLA’s vast supply chain network, DLA regional commands and DLA liaison officers to ensure responsive support to the military services, combatant commands and designated federal agencies,” said Bellott.