The Defense Logistics Agency is downsizing, aiming to be nearly a third smaller over the next five years, said agency chief Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek on Thursday. By 2019, DLA will shrink from a $40 billion enterprise to one of about $27 billion, he told defense writers in Washington, D.C. “I think we have banked about $3 billion already,” he said. Of the $13 billion goal, $5 billion will come from operating efficiencies and the rest from simply buying less stuff, said Harnitchek. In the last two years alone, “we … have taken about $5 billion of our $15 billion in inventory out of the system,” he said. With less to store, he’s also been able to get rid of “45 football fields’ worth of covered storage,” World War II-vintage warehouses “that are coming down.” With reduced inventory, aided by better models of what, how much, and when to buy goods, and how long to keep them, efficiency and performance have improved, said Harnitchek. The 30 percent overall reduction is par for any post-drawdown period, he noted.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.