Logistics Agency Shifts Focus From Geography to Information

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The new approach reflects a changing wish list at all levels of personnel.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is charging full speed into an infocentric environment that will include mobile technologies, changing the way the agency operates. Part of this effort includes the agency’s own version of the Joint Information Environment (JIE), which will help improve interoperability.

Kathy Cutler, director of information operations (J-6) and chief information officer at the DLA, explained these activities at a panel discussion on the second day of AFCEA’s three-day JIE Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14. This process began 10 years ago and is moving into a new phase with an increased emphasis on mobile technologies.

She noted the agency used to have diverse units that were centralized 10 years ago under the J-6 in its own version of a JIE. However, these units still had a geographic focus. The agency moved away from that geographic focus and into an information environment.

Now, it is trying to standardize the infrastructure at different locations—“make it as flat as possible,” Cutler said. This effort includes moving data centers to the Defense Information Systems Agency as soon as possible, she added.

Internally, the DLA wants to equip its personnel with mobile tablets at its disposition yards worldwide. Users want tablets to modernize their processes, and Cutler endorsed that approach. These tablets would allow personnel to identify any material that arrived at a disposition site, as well as to scan bar codes, access technology manuals and communicate with a head office via voice over Internet protocol.

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