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New Defense Logistics Agency Albany command activated

By Jason M. Webb | | October 1, 2009

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Maintenance Center Albany supply, storage and distribution function was transferred to the Defense Logistics Agency Albany (Material Control Center) in an activation ceremony at Building 1121, Sept. 24.

Maj. Kent Wheeler, formally the commander of Defense Distribution Center Albany, Ga., took command after a passing of the colors ceremony.

“We are turning the page here today.  We are integrating DLA into the retail side of the business, which is a new venture for all of us at DLA,” said Army Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general, Defense Supply Center Columbus, Ohio. “As we go through this together, we will capitalize on the great experiences that the Marines bring to us at DLA.”

The transfer and change to DLA Material Control Center is part of the broader based Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendation which includes supply, storage and distribution.

The changes are designed to enhance the logistic support to the nation’s warfighters, and this is the third supply, storage and distribution site to be transferred to Defense Supply Center Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is home to DLA’s land and maritime supply and demand chain.

“When I assumed command here in July, one of the first topics that I was briefed on was supply, storage and distribution functions that will be transitioning to DLA.  This has been a major change for many of the employees of Maintenance Center Albany, and I want to commend them for embracing this change rather than fight,” said Col. Terry W. Reid, commander, MCA. “[Base Realignment and Closure] law directed this change, but your efforts in executing this change have been exemplary.  Although you are transitioning to DLA, we still consider you part of the Maintenance Center Albany family.”

The transition to the greater umbrella of DLA was first initiated in 2005 under the BRAC law.

“This is the first step in a long journey. It took four years to get here.  We have a longer journey to go.  We have a lot of work to do,” said Maj. Kent Wheeler, commander, Defense Logistics Agency Albany (Material Control Center). “We are going to do that by accountability first. We have to understand the maintenance center better than they understand themselves. We have to understand theory of constraints.  We don’t want to become a constraint to the maintenance center.  We have to enhance our operations. We can do it, and we are going to do it together as a team.” 

The transition to DLA will mean that the newly created command will have a direct interface with the higher command, and although the names have changed, the same customers still exist.

“It’s just not the DLA way. It’s going to be the Albany DLA way. And I think that’s important that we don’t lose sight of the fact what’s important to our customers is important to us,” Richardson said.  “Things change but nothing changes.  We will change things to make it more efficient or better, but the reality is nothing changes in the fact you are still going to support the same customer you always have.”

Echoing Richardson’s remarks, Wheeler said he is focused on one thing. “The bottom line … one team to support the ultimate customer, the warfighter.”


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