MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Depot and Arsenal Executive Leadership Program participants focused on the aspects of manufacture, repair and overhaul operations as well as supply chain management during a tour of Maintenance Center Albany here, Dec. 9.
Military and senior civilian leaders from several military branches of depot, arsenal and ammunition facilities shared and collected ideas on manufacturing practices during the tour.
Established in 2003 by the U.S. Army Materiel Command, DAELP is an executive development program for the armed forces’ depot, arsenal and ammunition facilities’ commanders and senior civilian leaders, according to information posted on http://daelp.org. Administered by the Institute for Defense and Business, DAELP is delivered in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C.
DAELP’s intent is to highlight and expose commanders and senior directors to some of the work that goes on within select service depots and the various processes and repairs they accomplish.
Another objective of the program is to teach business acumen and manufacture, repair, overhaul operations’ best practices, according to Ted Sturgeon, program director, Institute for Defense and Business, Chapel Hill, N.C. Sturgeon accompanied the group on its MCA visit.
MCA was among several military installations the group toured during the second week in December.
“The purpose of this week is a benchmarking tour,” Sturgeon said. “Many of the commanders are relatively new in their positions and the intent of this tour is to broaden their exposure to the organic base (depot-level repair), so this tour is a normal part of the DAELP curriculum. The program travels to several service depots and private sector manufacturing facilities during the week to accomplish those objectives and learn from the different processes and techniques employed by each of the facilities and installations.”
Showcasing the services’ different kinds of vehicles, platforms and missions, and their distinct approaches to the missions, gives the DAELP students an opportunity “to see how different services and different installations conduct manufacture, repair and overhaul operations, and the key learning for the program is the interaction that goes on within the group. It’s the network they develop as a function of the program and the discussions that occur as a result of what they see,” he said. “It’s to show them the importance of benchmarking, to go out and learn best practices regardless of the specific
product lines at their installations and facilities, (and) it’s about the process and the continuous process improvement and benchmarking other organizations to make their organizations better.”
Trent Blalock, deputy commander, MCA, outlined various maintenance practices as he escorted the group throughout MCA. He noted that no matter what branch of service the students are affiliated with, observing and learning about MCA’s processes helped them.
“I think the processes within the other depots, and MCA included, are very similar, but I think it’s how you implement those initiatives and how involved the leadership may be,” Blalock said. “A lot of what I have stressed today is some of the lessons learned that we have had and some of the things we’ve done to demonstrate success.”
Among the DAELP participants was Col. Stephen Medeiros, operations officer, Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, Quantico, Va. In July, Medeiros will replace Col. Terry W. Reid, current commander, MCA.
“Colonel Medeiros is familiar with the maintenance center because he works for Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and we have done some projects in conjunction with the warfighting lab in the past, but I think this has given him a chance to see with boots on the ground exactly how we operate,” Blalock said. “He’s familiar with our products and services, but today he became more familiar with how we do business, so I think that has been very beneficial for him.”
Medeiros described his visit at MCA as two-fold - attending for his class and getting up to speed on the organization’s methods. He said what he learned for his class will help him in the long run when he becomes the unit’s leader this summer.
“I think at this point in time, I’ve got a good understanding of the importance of the warfighter,” he said. “I think the course and our tour here will hopefully set me up for a better appreciation for the timing and the sequence of a process and how that is important. I am looking forward to coming down to Albany and this will be a great tour. This is a great area, so I can’t wait.”