ANNISTON, Ala. –
Soldiers with the Army Reserve Sustainment Command teamed up with U.S. Navy and Air Force Reservists to form a task force of more than 100 Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen selected by Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) Distribution Center at the Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama.
On July 28, the taskforce was able to state “mission complete” as they successfully completed their inventory requirement ahead of schedule.
The project encompassed 100 percent wall-to-wall inventory of weapons and parts, according to Army Lt. Col. Michael Lindley, commander of DLA Distribution Anniston.
“This was the first time we have augmented the mission with Reservists from all branches of the armed services,” said Lindley.
Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen came from New York to Hawaii to execute the mission.
“They have been great performers and executors of the mission; they set-up work stations and verified against the distribution supply system,” said Lindley.
They also conducted general warehouse functions such as maintenance, packing and sorting as the mission required, added Lindley.
“I am certainly impressed by how this group pulled together and operated like a unit even though they were from different branches across the military,” said Lindley.
He said he is looking forward to future missions in which Reservists can assist DLA Distribution.
“Military reservists bring an additional skillset to the front,” said Lindley. “They have a military specialty and also have a professional position or trade in the civilian sector that is beneficial.”
Sgt. 1st Class Bobby Hill, who is assigned to the ARSC in Birmingham, Alabama, brought forth a civilian skillset like Lindley expressed.
Hill, an automated logistical specialist for the ARSC, recently retired from his civilian law enforcement position after 26 years.
“I understand the importance of operational security, so I was able to bring my law enforcement skillset to the mission and reinforce the security requirements with the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen,” said Hill.
He was selected to be the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the warehouse based on his military and civilian experience.
Hill said he was able to learn a lot from the mission.
“Warehousing is part of what I do in my military occupation; however, this was the first time in 15 years I have worked in the warehouse because I have always been on the supply and maintenance side,” said Hill.
As part of the wall-to-wall inventory, the taskforce verified, inspected, unpacked, verified again, counted, sampled and banded weapons and parts, said Hill.
Another Army Reserve Soldier, Sgt. Jason Brothers, a military policeman with the 450th Military Police Company in Birmingham, Alabama, brought his civilian experience as a warehouse shipping and receiving supervisor to the mission.
“I typically wouldn’t get this experience with my unit because I am an MP, so it has been great to do something different and bring my civilian acquired skills to help support the warfighter,” said Brothers.
This project has been very eye opening, he added.
“This is the first time I have worked with the U.S. Navy in a joint operation,” said Brothers. “We worked together very well; you wouldn’t notice we were from different components except for the uniform.”
The officer-in-charge of the wall-to-wall inventory agreed and spoke highly of the group.
“Their Civilian careers allowed them to do more than just the wall-to-wall inventory,” said Lt. Kevin Randall, supply officer for the U.S. Navy Reserve at Fleet Logistics Center, Jacksonville, Florida, “Every Soldier, Sailor and Airmen stepped in, pulled together as one unit and completed the mission ahead of schedule.”
Although it was very challenging, everyone worked through the pressure, added Randall.
“We were working in a static environment the entire time,” said Randall. “While we were conducting inventory, the mission forward doesn’t stop so it became intense.”
The mission was completed in preparation for audit readiness later this year. Anniston Army Depot has more than 20 warehouses, and DLA Distribution’s overall mission is to receipt, store, and issue weapons.