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Defense Logistics Agency to Open New Supply Depots

By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2004 – In keeping with the Defense Logistics Agency's commitment to be responsive and close to the warfighter, the agency plans to open four new supply depots this year.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Warehouses at U.S. Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, will be transferred to the Defense Logistics Agency and used as a distribution depot. The facility is slated to open in April. Additional depots are set to open at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; Guam; and Camp Carroll, Korea. Depots receive, store and distribute materials anything (except fuels and munitions) the military uses, wears, eats or repairs. Photo courtesy of DLA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Responding to requests from combatant commanders and the military services, DLA will open depots in Sigonella, Italy; Guam; Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; and Camp Carroll, Korea.

The Defense Distribution Center, with headquarters in New Cumberland, Pa., is DLA's lead center for distribution. It provides oversight for 22 distribution depots around the world, including Germersheim, Germany; Yokosuka, Japan and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. DDC stocks more than 4 million items with an inventory value of more than $87 billion. The depots processed more than 24.7 million transactions in fiscal 2003.

DDC distribution depots receive, store and distribute materials anything except fuels and munitions that the military uses, wears, eats or repairs. The depots also provide special services such as kitting, configured loads, unitized group rations, maintenance kits, medical set assembly and disassembly, total package fielding and deployable medical units.

DLA and DDC are focused on providing the right item, at the right time, to the right place, at the right price, said Jackie Noble, DDC public affairs officer. One of its customer-focused initiatives is forward stocking, known as FSI. Through FSI, additional depots or sites are established to reduce customer wait time and save transportation dollars by diverting shipments from premium air transportation to surface transportation.

"Over the last three years, the DDC has been actively engaged with the combatant commanders, working forward-stocking solutions to improve the readiness of our combat forces," said DDC Commander Army Brig. Gen. Kathleen M. Gainey. "Forward stocking significantly reduces customer wait time (and) provides an opportunity to eliminate redundant intermediate inventories, all at a greatly reduced transportation cost.

"Forward positioning of material in areas of the world with high concentrations of forward deployed forces reduces stress on strategic lift assets and provides the war fighter with an added level of confidence that the Defense Department supply chain can support their requirements when it matters most," said the general.

The Sigonella depot is slated to open in April. Warehouses at the U.S. naval air station there will be transferred to DLA for use for the distribution depot. It will hold about 9,000 different DLA items and support customers in the Mediterranean.

The DLA/DDC presence in southwest Asia began in January 2003 with the DLA Wholesale Class IV site in Bahrain for items such as lumber and concertina wire. About 20 million pounds of material was issued from this site last year. Although the timeline for operations in Kuwait still is being discussed with U.S. Central Command and supporting partners, DLA officials said they hope it will open in June.

The depot in Guam will operate by a contract, now in the solicitation phase. Preliminary analysis shows the depot will house more than 4,000 items. The facility will mainly support submarines home-ported in Guam, as well as joint service customers. The contract is to be awarded in June, and operations will stand up in October, said Noble.

Tailored to meet the needs of the joint service customers in Korea, the Camp Carroll depot is set to open in December. It will carry 13,800 items.

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