By Chris Erbe
FT. BELVOIR, Va. (November 28, 2016)– Students at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, received a special presentation on military logistics, leadership and how to navigate the joint environment from a well-informed guest lecturer Nov. 22. Defense Logistics Agency Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andrew Busch spoke to the group comprising mid-career Army officers from diverse professional military backgrounds.
Busch briefed the students on DLA’s support to its customers through its nine supply chains with locations in 48 states and 28 countries around the world. He described the agency’s primary purpose — providing the logistics requirements of the armed forces and other customers for food, clothing, fuel, repair parts and more. The DLA director also informed the group that 1,100 military service members, both active duty and reservists, serve among the 25,000-employee workforce.
“When I talk about who our customers are, there are three groups,” Busch said. “We have the combatant commands, our military service customers and our whole-of-government customers, all of which have different demands. It’s an entirely diverse range of things that we’re involved in at DLA.”
Busch’s overview included a description of the divisions within DLA as well as the agency’s place in the military joint logistics enterprise and the Department of Defense. He informed the group of ongoing initiatives such as performance-based logistics, which places responsibility on industry to improve quality and efficiency in the products it sells to the military.
Attendees were surprised to learn the level of support DLA provides other federal organizations, like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of State, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Busch offered advice for attendees who increasingly find themselves working in joint environments. “More and more, we’re required to work with people from different services,” he said. “One thing I learned years ago as a lieutenant colonel at DLA was that when you look at how other services do things, don’t be judgmental. It’s not right or wrong, bad or good — it’s just different.”
“This is the first time in many years we’ve had the DLA director speak to our students,” said James Kennedy, assistant professor in the school’s Department of Logistics and Resource Operations. “Our students gained valuable insights from Lt. Gen. Busch about the scope and responsibilities of DLA and how they support whole of government and joint operations. We truly appreciate him spending his valuable time with us.”
The Command and General Staff School at Fort Belvoir is a satellite campus of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The curriculum prepares field-grade officers for leadership positions in Army, joint, multinational and interagency organizations executing unified land operations.
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