It’s a match made to support our warfighters. When the 21st Theater Sustainment Command bills itself as a “War Focused Unit – First in Support,” it issues a clear declaration of intent. In a recent step to successfully accomplish its mission, the 21st TSC established an office for Defense Logistics Agency staff at its headquarters on Panzer Kaserne.
DLA is the Department of Defense’s largest combat logistics support agency charged with providing best value integrated logistics solutions to military services, civilian agencies and some foreign countries. The 21st TSC mission is to provide theater sustainment throughout U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility in support of U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army. Both organizations evolve around the same ultimate customer – the Soldier in combat, the warfighter. Since first establishing a presence at the 21st TSC less than a year ago, DLA’s Defense Logistics Agency Europe and Africa has increased its staff to four.
Lt. Col. John Rosnow serves as the DLA liaison officer with the 21st TSC. He explained that DLA-E/A serves as DLA’s hub for EUCOM and AFRICOM issues, linking it with both combatant commands. Like the military, DLA is adapting to the warfighters’ changing environments and demands. Part of the process involved consolidating its German offices from the Wiesbaden and Mainz-Kastel areas at Kleber Kaserne.
“As part of the transformation efforts, the DLA elements moved to the area with the biggest sustainment mission and command – the 21st TSC,” Lieutenant Colonel Rosnow said.
Fast, reliable support depends on close cooperation between the organizations, which is increased by their proximity.
“Basically, we moved the supply chain forward to the customer base, which allows us to engage face-to-face,” said David Roath, another liaison officer at the 21st TSC, who works for DLA’s Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Europe.
DSCP-ACE is DLA’s Troop Support Center and provides the military services with food, clothing, textiles, medicines, medical equipment, and construction supplies and equipment. They also support humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.
“We worked hand-in-hand with the 21st TSC during the Georgia crises last year and will support the Immediate Response 2010 exercise as well as a number of other exercises,” said Steve Soisson, DLA-E/A warfighter support representative at the 21st TSC.
Jerry Madden, a plans specialist with the 21st TSC’s plans and exercises section, singles out two recent exercises the DLA staff here has been extremely helpful with.
“Just last month, they have been critical to the shipment of unit group rations and bottled water to support 450 U.S. personnel in Uganda during the Natural Fire 10 exercise,” he said. “Also, they were instrumental to our support of Exercise MEDFLAG ’09, a medical exercise in Swaziland. We ended up shipping meals-ready-to-eat and bottled water to the U.S. and Swazi forces in country, and DLA moved these shipments on a moment’s notice.”
DLA-E/A staff is also represented at the nucleus of the 21st TSC in the Combined Operations and Intelligence Center.
“From my perspective, the capability provided by having a DLA representative in the COIC is essential to ensuring the continuous and synchronized flow of supplies to support EUCOM and AFRICOM forces,” said Lt. Col. Chris Brookie, the chief of current operations at the 21st TSC’s plans and operations section.
In the end, both organizations are all about supporting their customers with what they need when and where they need it.