Generals allay fears, concerns or Robins DLA employees

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78 ABW/PA
Many Team Robins members who recently transferred to the Defense Logistics Agency, are much more at ease about their future after a town hall meeting Nov. 28.

The town hall meeting was held at the Vistascope Theater at the Museum of Aviation and gave members of the DLA workforce here at Robins the opportunity to hear from the agency's senior leader about his plans for DLA after the workers officially joined the agency Oct. 14.

"I think your presence in our organization is going to make us a better stronger DLA," said Army Lt. Gen. Robert Dail, DLA director.

General Dail said he was looking forward to members of the Robins workforce helping to transform the culture of DLA in order to help it provide better support to the warfighter.

He said he wanted the Robins' workers bringing their drive to change processes in an effort to be more successful with them as they integrate into the agency.

He encouraged the workers to continue doing what they do best meeting the needs of the warfighter.

"Don't change your focus just because you turned your badge over," General Dail said.

Those who attended the meeting were privileged to hear from three generals - General Dail, Brig. Gen. Andy Busch, commander of Defense Supply Center, Richmond, and Lt. Gen. Terry Gabreski, vice commander of Air Force Materiel Command.

"I was real impressed with the stuff that was said. It makes you feel good to hear from the (top leadership)," said Gail Ponder, supportability specialist, adding that the prospect of transferring to DLA was a scary one, but that so far the transition has been a positive experience.

Penny Roland, a program management specialist, agreed the transition to the DLA had her worried, especially because of her previous experiences with the agency. But she said after hearing General Dail she is convinced the leadership is concerned about the fate of the Robins' workers and with taking care of them.

Cathy Broadwell agreed that the leadership of the agency seemed to be concerned with the workers here and said it eased her concerns to know that General Busch was a part of the DLA team because he has lived and worked here as commander of the 402nd Maintenance Wing and understands the needs of the workforce. General Dail echoed the Robins workers sentiments that having General Busch as a part of the DLA team was an invaluable piece of the success of the October transfer here at Robins and its continued success.

He said he requested General Busch because he not only understands the mission of the WR-ALC, he also understands the culture and the workers at the Center.

It was General Busch's fifth visit to the base as part of the transfer to help workers merge into the DLA community. He said now that the workers have made the transition, it is important for them to prepare to meet guidelines established by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure requirements.

"Now we are going to something we call Day Two and Day Two is not a date but it is what I term fail safe support to depot maintenance that will put in place all of the mechanisms that we need to get us through the transition so that we can meet the objectives that the BRAC legislation told us we need to do," General Busch said. "And, again BRAC legislation said let's focus on inventory efficiency not man power savings."

General Busch said there are three objectives DLA will focus on during the Day Two phase of the DLA transfer.

The first would be linking together the information processing systems of the depot and DLA to enable DLA to operate the Air Force and DLA inventories as one.

The second objective is figuring out what the relationship will be between the strategic distribution platform, which will support regional customers and the forward distribution platform, which will support WR-ALC depot customers.

The final objective is getting the Robins personnel assigned to DLA access to the DLA tool sets in use at Richmond.

General Dail said BRAC is about taking a wall down between wholesale and retail operations.

"BRAC is about the people at the retail level having direct access and input at the national level," he said.

He said he is going to empower the workers at Robins to achieve the mission because they are right here with the customer.

"The goal is to make sure that the $35 billion that we are buying is actually what we need down here. I don't want to buy things in Richmond, or I don't want someone in Richmond to buy something we don't need because you've got it in stock and you have something else that is not in stock," General Dail said.

Because Robins was one of the first of 13 industrial sites to transition its workers to DLA, the agency is working hard to make sure the transition is done in a way that is beneficial to both the agency and its personnel and their ability to complete the mission of the agency together.

"A key piece of that is turning weapons platforms around quickly, efficiently, so that America's Airmen, the airpower of the United States of America, can do their job," General Dail said.