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DLA saves dollars, speeds delivery of food and water to troops in Afghanistan

FORT BELVOIR, Va., (USTCNS) --- The Defense Logistics Agency’s two recent subsistence solutions in Afghanistan have avoided spending millions of dollars while improving the distribution of food and water to American troops there.

These initiatives resulted from DLA’s efforts in the integrated distribution pillar through the partnership with U.S. Transportation Command as the Department of Defense’s Distribution Process Owner.

With a high operational tempo in Southwest Asia, DLA and its partners needed to find ways to better serve the troops in the region.

Since some units are serving 12-month tours in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, like the 25th Infantry Division (Light), it made sense to provide the perishable- and frozen-type entrees in leaner pallets for distribution.

Modifying the unitized group rations for soldiers in Afghanistan from a 28-day menu cycle to a 21-day menu cycle reduced the number of containers necessary to ship food into the region. As of February, this initiative alone has saved an estimated $8.28 million, which will continue to accrue while U.S. forces are there.

Recently, DLA’s Contingency Support Team in Afghanistan and Defense Supply Center Philadelphia’s Subsistence Division assisted the Combined Joint Task Force 7’s Joint Logistics Command in making a major improvement in troops support.

While the menu-cycle has reduced the bulk of materiel entering Afghanistan, DLA’s solution to use internal resources within the country to provide troops drinkable water has eliminated unnecessary shipments as well. The agency found a local source for bottled water in the region that meets U.S. standards, with a continued effort to develop water processing capabilities in Afghanistan. Using the prime vendor eliminates shipping this relatively heavy cargo overseas while freeing cargo space for other items that the military needs delivered.

The local source eliminates the 7020 containers that it would have taken per year to ship the bottles over ocean from the continental United States through the ports of Karachi and Bahrain. Additionally, the DLA solution avoids spending an estimated $21.6 million per year in transportation costs and $2.15 million in a one-time inventory fee.

DSCP, an inventory control point within DLA, annually supplies approximately $12.4 billion worth of food, medicines, medical equipment, clothing and textiles, and construction and equipment items for America’s war fighters.

DLA provides supply support, and technical and logistics services to the U.S. military services and several federal civilian agencies. Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., the agency is the one source for nearly every consumable item, whether for combat readiness, emergency preparedness or day-to-day operations.

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