DLA, Space Force leaders discuss strategic partnership in first meeting

  • Published
  • By Nancy Benecki
  • Defense Logistics Agency

Leaders from the Defense Logistics Agency, its Nuclear and Space Enterprise Support Office and the Space Force discussed how they can work together to help the new service grow its approach to logistics during their first meeting Oct. 24 at DLA’s headquarters.

Mary Stevenson, the Space Force deputy director for mission sustainment, said she’s worked with DLA throughout her career as a program manager for major weapons systems and knows the agency will be a key partner for the service.

“The Space Force is not going to be successful without the DLA partnership. That’s what this is going to take. I appreciate your efforts in the field out there, the tip of the spear, trying to get us to understand what we need, because we don’t know what we need,” Stevenson said.

Terry Simpson, executive director of DLA’s Nuclear and Space Enterprise Support Office, gave an agency overview, noting it had $42.8 billion in revenue last year, manages over 5 million line items and awards 10,000 contracts a day. He also briefly detailed what each of DLA’s major subordinate commands do, from clothing and textiles at DLA Troop Support to DLA Distribution and DLA Disposition Services’ worldwide support. He highlighted DLA Aviation’s role as the lead MSC providing customer facing support to Space Force.

“It truly is end-to-end supply chain management,” said Simpson, who has been with DLA’s NESO since its inception in 2015. He said his office’s mission is to proactively support the Defense Department’s nuclear and space enterprises.

Through DLA’s Small Business Innovation Research team, the Weapons System Readiness Improvement Program finds small businesses that can provide parts, materials and innovative manufacturing solutions, said Brett Wod with DLA Information Operations.

DLA supports 16 parts for the Space Force through the WSRIP and has already secured parts for the service’s Pave Phased Array Warning System, optical encoders, and launch and test range systems, Wood said.

The Space Force has 52 weapons systems and its $1.5 billion program is more than 90% contracted logistics support, said Laura Radley, Space Force mission sustainment analyst.

DLA supported Space Force systems even before its inception and began providing dedicated liaison officer support to Air Force Space Command in 2017. Simpson said his team is looking forward to establishing a performance-based agreement with the service and setting up the first USSF/DLA service day for senior leaders to collaborate, discuss support issues and create action items that improve readiness.

“We have agreements with each of the military services, so we’re pushing hard to get our partnership with Space Force codified. This will outline mutually agreed-upon performance goals, identify the governance structure and strengthen the dynamics of the Space Force and DLA relationship,” he said.