How DSCC Supports the Army

by Captain Mark M. Herrin

Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC), Ohio, is the Defense Logistics Agency's (DLA's) lead center for land and maritime support to America's Armed Forces. Although DSCC supports all services, its high-performance organizational design provides weapon system support specifically for the Army.

DLA's Lead Center Concept

Nearly 4 years ago, three of DLA's four supply centers—DSCC, Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR), Virginia, and Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Pennsylvania—boldly began operating as "lead centers." To implement the lead center concept, DLA chose a customer-oriented organizational design that is based on the operational readiness goals of the military services. It provides each service a single point of contact for critical systems. DSCC and DSCR became weapon systems support centers, and DSCP became a troop systems support center.

DSCC, the first supply center in DLA to convert to the weapon systems approach to materiel management, became the land and maritime lead center for DLA. As such, it devotes its efforts to supplying items for land and sea weapon systems.

DSCR is the aviation lead center and provides items for air, aviation, and space support. DSCP is the lead center for troop support systems and general supply items. The Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the fourth DLA supply center, provides fuel support for facilities, vehicles, and aircraft.

DSCC's Mission

DSCC is a DLA inventory control point for spare parts. It has an active and reserve component work force of over 80 military personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps and nearly 2,600 Federal civil service employees. This team buys, manages, and coordinates shipments of parts for 1,304 active weapon systems for the military services and North Atlantic Treaty Organization units operating throughout the world. By integrating the business techniques and processes adapted from highly successful private corporations with the provisions of the National Performance Review Act of 1993, DSCC has become one of the Department of Defense's (DOD's) largest suppliers of spare parts. It has 22,000 military and civilian customers and is building partnerships with nearly 10,000 contractors. DSCC receives 5 million requisitions annually for nearly 2 million managed items totaling $1.8 billion in sales.

DSCC's vision is "to be the most reliable, responsive, and innovative provider of logistics support and services through a professional, trained, and productive team. Each member is accountable to the customer to provide superior service by reducing process time, reducing costs, and improving quality." To accomplish its mission, DSCC has moved away from relying on large inventory stockpiles to relying on industry; from managing parts to managing the relationships of suppliers with customers; and from managing processes to integrating existing supply chains or creating new ones. This shift to commercial practices ensures that DSCC acquires the best commercially available expertise in distribution, vendor-managed inventories, on-demand manufacturing, corporate contract agreements, and virtual prime vendors.

DSCC has four application groups, each of which manages a set of assigned weapon systems. The Maritime Weapon Systems Group provides customer support for over 340 weapon systems. The Commodity-Based Applications Group manages 1.2 million electronic items, including state-of-the-art microcircuits, and processes more than 2 million requisitions annually in support of all DLA weapon systems. The Aerospace Weapon Systems Group works in partnership with DSCR, the lead center for aerospace weapon systems, in managing nearly 900,000 repair parts and operating supply items. Finally, the Land-Based Weapon Systems Group manages the total supply support and distribution of consumable repair parts for over 715 land-based weapon systems maintained by all of the military services.

The DSCC operations center houses a work force of over 80 military personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps and nearly 2,600 Federal civil service employees.
The DSCC operations center houses a work force of over 80 military personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps and nearly 2,600 Federal civil service employees.

The Mighty Land

The Land-Based Weapon Systems Group (known within DSCC as the "Mighty Land" or just the "Land") is the warfighter's consumable item wholesale logistics combat multiplier. The Land "keeps the wheels rolling around the clock, around the world" on vehicles like the M1 Abrams main battle tank; the high-mobility, multipurpose, wheeled vehicle (HMMWV); the heavy, expanded mobility tactical truck (HEMTT); the heavy equipment transporter (HET); and the 6,000-pound rough terrain forklift. The Land also is responsible for other items, including night-vision equipment and small arms replacement parts.

The Land supports forces deployed to Southwest Asia, Europe, Japan, and Korea, as well as forces in Hawaii, Alaska, and the continental United States. Each year, the Land fills one-third of DSCC's nearly 5 million total requisitions, contributing 20 percent of DSCC's $1.8 billion in annual sales.

Because today's Army operates at a faster pace than ever before, with continuous deployments throughout the world, the Land considers weapon systems readiness to be its primary measure of success. The Land supports weapon systems for over 15,600 customers in the Active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve. To ensure that it focuses on the real issues affecting weapon systems readiness, the Land conducts monthly reviews that evaluate information from the following sources—

Soldier Support Initiatives

As a result of these ongoing reviews of customer needs and readiness levels, the Land has initiated many actions that serve and provide the best value to soldiers. These initiatives include several long-term contracts to support multiple weapon systems with many corporations, including Caterpillar, Oshkosh, AM Gener-al, Cummins En-gine,and Donaldson. In many cases, soldiers receive im-mediate and direct delivery of requested parts as a result of these contracts.

The M1114 up-armored HMMWV, which was fielded to troops in Bosnia in 1996 under emergency conditions, will be refurbished and retrofitted in the next 2 to 3 years.

The M1114 up-armored HMMWV, which was fielded to troops in Bosnia in 1996 under emergency conditions, will be refurbished and retrofitted in the next 2 to 3 years.


In another initiative, called Automotive Prime Vendor, two special programs have been designed to improve support for the Army's automotive fleet. The first, Automotive Prime Vendor Overseas, provides 1,900 parts from 875 manufacturers to military customers outside of the continental United States. The second program, the Fleet Automotive Support Initiative, will improve supply support at the user level through use of one or more prime vendors who will provide supply support for nearly 21,000 items for military customers within the continental United States.

DSCC also has established corporate contracts and basic ordering agreements with NAPA, John Deere, Komatsu, and Freightliner to deliver automotive and heavy equipment repair parts. Under the terms of these agreements, John Deere and Komatsu offer military customers savings of up to 23 percent and 5-day-or-less direct delivery. NAPA and Freightliner offer military buyers 20 to 50 percent savings. Some stocked items may be immediately available; others will be delivered within 5 days.

Another Land initiative involves the M1114 up-armored HMMWV. The M1114 initially was fielded in 1996 to forces in Bosnia under emergency conditions and in advance of formal logistics planning. It experienced extremely high operating tempo and rough use because of wide-ranging mission requirements. In an effort to increase the reliability of the vehicles, the program manager determined that retrofits were required to improve the vehicle's design. U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR), also determined that general-support-level repairs were needed to bring the vehicles to full operational capability. Therefore, for the next 2 to 3 years, USAREUR will refurbish and retrofit 409 M1114 up-armored HMMWV's, 140 XM1109 modified armor HMMWV's, and 180 M1097 armor-equipped HMMWV's. The vehicles are being drawn from deployed units in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Bosnia.

Currently, DLA also supports the HMMWV repair program at Kaiserslau-tern Industrial Center in Germany and the fielding of new HMWVV's. To meet these challenges, DSCC, as the lead center for the HMMWV, awarded a contract to O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt, the manufacturer of the M1114 up-armored HMMWV, to provide all numbered parts on the vehicle. As a result, deliveries that sometimes took more than 150 days now require only 10 days. Wholesale support to the M1114 up-armored HMMWV is improving dramatically as this contract is implemented at all DOD sources of supply.

Innovative improvements in weapon systems support have catapulted DSCC and DLA into the 21st century with greater support and flexibility to meet readiness requirements. Because of the dynamic, positive impacts of these initiatives, DSCC and DLA can continue to ensure that the requirements of soldiers deployed throughout the world are met. ALOG

Captain Mark M. Herrin is a Quartermaster officer assigned as a readiness officer at the Defense Supply Center Columbus, Ohio. He previously commanded the Maintenance Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Opposing Force), at Fort Irwin, California. He holds a B.S. degree in finance from the University of Tampa and an M.S. degree in logistics management from the Naval Postgraduate School.