FORT BELVOIR, Va., May 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Defense Logistics Agency personnel are making sure America's service members stationed around the world are getting the supplies they need to carry out their missions.
Military members supporting NATO operations in Libya and engaged in training exercises in several African nations are getting 24-hour logistics support from Defense Logistics Agency Europe & Africa warfighter support representatives.
As U.S. forces launched Operation Odyssey Dawn with airstrikes in Libya on March 19, DLA made sure troops, including airmen from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base in Italy, had adequate amounts of food, water, fuel, and medical supplies to support their mission.
"A lot of folks don't realize that the 31st Fighter Wing stationed here at Aviano Air Base, Italy, was flying bombing missions in Libya. They had immediate requirements for 60,000 gallons of jet fuel that had to be delivered overnight so they could continue their mission," said Philip Greene, a warfighter support representative based at Aviano Air Base, who serves customers in Northern Italy and the U.S. Army Africa area of responsibility.
"We also had requests for aircraft repair parts because they were flying a long ways from Italy to Northern Libya. With that many hours of operation, things are likely to break down," added Greene.
NATO assumed command of the operation, now called Operation Unified Protector, March 31, but Greene said logistics support is still needed by U.S. teams that continue to support the operation.
"DLA's efforts are important because when you go into an unfamiliar environment, you just don't know what sources you'll be able to tap into. So the troops have to either take their supplies with them or have them flown in. We want to make sure they can start doing business without worrying about where they'll get supplies," he said.
Warfighter support representatives worked tirelessly in March to expedite the shipment of supplies needed by Air Force and Navy forces who participated in the early stages of the operation.
"The entire DLA enterprise supported Operation Odyssey Dawn in the early hours and days with not only cots and food, but with fuel and spare parts," said Chuck Goranson, a warfighter support representative for Air Force units in Europe and Africa. "This is a good example of how the different activities of DLA come together to support the warfighter."
Other warfighter support representatives assigned to DLA Europe & Africa are busy preparing for exercises scheduled to begin throughout Africa. Ann Oglesby is arranging shipments of food and water to support Marines who will deploy for an exercise in Gabon at the end of May.
"The challenge with this event is that the exercise location is about 11 hours from the port in Libreville. Many of the exercises in Africa are in different locations each year, so each exercise provides an opportunity to establish new delivery locations," said Oglesby, who supports customers from her location in Stuttgart, Germany.
She is also working with DLA counterparts to provide food, fuel, steel, and medical supplies for U.S. forces scheduled to participate in an exercise called African Lion in Morocco with the Moroccan armed forces in May.
Greene and other warfighter support representatives in Europe and Africa say they're used to getting calls in the middle of the night to support 24-hour missions throughout the region. But being able to see the results of their work makes up for the extra hours, he said.
"This is a great job. When a mission goes off and it happens like it's suppose to, it's self-gratifying to see all the pieces work together," Greene added. "Despite all the hassle, all the hours, you know at the end of the day that you've made a difference."
As a Department of Defense combat support agency, DLA provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services. The agency sources and provides nearly 100 percent of the consumable items America's military forces need to operate, from food, fuel and energy, to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies more than 80 percent of the military's spare parts.
Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., DLA has about 27,000 employees worldwide and supports about 1,900 weapon systems. For more information about DLA, go to www.dla.mil, www.facebook.com/dla.mil or http://twitter.com/dlamil.
Editor's Note: This article was written by Beth Reece, a public affairs specialist at the Defense Logistics Agency.
SOURCE Defense Logistics Agency