FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Jan. 13, 2010) – The Defense Logistics Agency is making shopping for products easier for warfighters stationed in Afghanistan.
DLA has created an online shopping portal, also known as a virtual storefront, so that troops in Afghanistan can see exactly what types of construction materials are available to them in the region from local contractors. The Maintenance, Repair and Operations Uzbekistan Virtual Storefront warehouse and Web site is open for business.
DLA leaders expect that allowing warfighters in the region to check available stocks in real time through a Web-based interface will shorten delivery times for needed supplies. Delivery times could be reduced by 60 to 90 days on certain items.
“The virtual storefront is being established for proof of principle that ordering and shipping time can be improved by moving supplies closer to the point of use,” said Linda Gruber, branch chief for the agency’s Construction and Equipment Supplier Operations Directorate.
The virtual storefront was established through an agreement between DLA and one of its contractors to create a prime vendor-owned and operated facility in Termez, Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan to the north. Within the area of operations, the storefront will procure, distribute and store material manufactured in South Caucasus and Central and South Asian States.
Besides Uzbekistan, countries included in these two groups are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. In addition, items can also be sourced from any Trade Agreement Act compliant country.
“Having the products closer to the fight will make it easier for warfighters by reducing logistics response and delivery time,” said Chet Evanitsky, DLA’s Construction and Equipment Supply Chain division chief.
So far, 24 types of construction material products are available for delivery to customers through the virtual storefront. These include cement, concrete, fencing, roofing, rope, sand, steel, gutters and pipe. Additional items will be added on an as-needed basis, Gruber said.
Other high-demand items not manufactured or sourced in the region, such as replacement parts for relocatable buildings, may also become available through the storefront.
DLA is also identifying sources for various food items in Uzbekistan and plans to share these sources with its subsistence prime vendors for potential local purchase as long as items meet quality and price requirements. As the Department of Defense’s combat logistics support agency, DLA is responsible for providing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services.
These services include procuring and distributing nearly five million separate line items such as rations, medical supplies and equipment, clothing and textiles, repair parts for land, sea and air weapons systems and platforms, fuel and energy services.
DLA is also responsible for reutilizing and disposing excess property received from the military services, to include disposing of hazardous waste and material. DLA employs 25,000 civilian and military personnel, with Fiscal Year 2009 business revenues of nearly $38 billion.
For more information about DLA, go to www.dla.mil.