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Deployable Distribution Center to evaluate capability in Korea

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --  The Deployable Distribution Center is capable of handling all types and sizes of material. (Courtesy photo)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Deployable Distribution Center is capable of handling all types and sizes of material. (Courtesy photo)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Defense Distribution Center, headquartered in New Cumberland, Pa., will evaluate the capabilities of its Deployable Distribution Center here April 30 through May 11.

The DDC's deployable capability is intended to provide a flexible distribution capability that can support responses to natural disasters and military contingencies both inside and outside the U.S.

This will be the first evaluation of this capability outside of the U.S.

The deployable center is staffed by personnel from several of the DDC's subordinate distribution centers in the U.S. with a command group from the DDC headquarters.

The deployable capability is important, because logistics support is not always readily available where it is needed.

Depending on the specific location of the disaster or contingency, the deployable distribution center can be on site and ready to go in a matter of days.

"We provide the commander with a distribution capability located near his area of operation," said Marc Parsons, deputy commander of the Deployable Distribution Center. "The center's ability to deploy is crucial to its success."

According to Parsons, the deployable distribution center needs to be self-contained and readily transportable, to be of any use. To meet that goal, portable, easily erected structures that can warehouse materiel are being purchased. The material handling equipment for the center, such as forklifts, is stored at Defense Distribution Depot Red River, Texas while the remainder of the equipment is stored at DDC headquarters in Pennsylvania.

During the evaluation, shipments to the Korean region will be received, processed and reshipped at the theater consolidation and shipping point that the deployable distribution center will establish as part of the evaluation. There will be no effect on the delivery of materiel to those who requested it.

"We will be handling delivery of items to customers in the region for the duration of the evaluation, but the process will be transparent to our customers," Parsons said. "In the event of a real disaster or military contingency, the goal is to deliver materiel to the customer more quickly than it has been in the past."

The deployable center will also use radio frequency identification equipment to provide the same data customers routinely receive from permanent facilities. Customers will still be able to track the process of their orders through the very same systems they use on a daily basis.

"Ultimately when the deployable distribution center is fielded, the customer will not see any change in the delivery process," Parsons explained.

During the evaluation period, the deployable distribution center will process approximately 30 to 40 trucks each day. When fully operational, the deployable distribution center will be able to adjust to provide what ever level of support is needed.

(Editor's note: Defense Distribution Center, New Cumberland, Penn., is the Defense Logistics Agency's Lead Center for Distribution. DLA provides supply support and technical and logistics services to the military services and to several civilian agencies. Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., DLA is the one source for nearly every consumable item, whether for combat readiness, emergency preparedness or day-to-day operations.)