Supply Chain

When a part is needed for a plane in the Air Force, it usually comes through the 448th Supply Chain Wing in the Air Force Sustainment Center. Ensuring that all those parts get to their destinations, and that they are not tampered with or sabotaged, calls for a good deal of risk management.

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“The key theme, and really everything that’s coming out of the executive order is about resiliency,” said Christine Barnhart, senior director at Infor for supply chain strategy. “The order is about how we make our supply chains less fragile and more resilient. It’s not so much about isolating us from the rest of the world, but really taking out some of the risks, and making sure that we’re able to be self-sustaining at least for a period of time.”

The past 18 months have thrown a wrench in many of the military’s plans, but the supply chain is one that has taken a particularly hard hit. Army Materiel Command had a handful of backups that caused issues for the supply chain during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Defense Logistics Agency is in charge of moving $40 billion worth of goods around the world per year, but when COVID hit and supply chains started moving in fits and starts, the organization had to start changing to get goods delivered on time. Rear Adm. Doug Norton, director of logistics operations for DLA, said DLA worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to find ways to deliver quickly in emergency situations.