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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Defense Logistics Agency plans to open four new supply depots this year, including one in Guam and another at Camp Carroll, South Korea.

The other locations are Sigonella, Italy; and Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Scott Rosbaugh, Deputy Director of Strategic Plans at DLA’s Defense Distribution Center, said in a Monday telephone interview.

Headquartered in New Cumberland, Pa., the DDC currently oversees 22 distribution depots around the world that stock more than 4 million items. The depots receive, store and distribute supplies the military uses — everything but fuels and munitions.

Adding the four new depots is designed to reduce troops’ wait time and shave transportation costs by diverting shipments from air to surface transportation, DDC officials said.

Over the past three years, the logistics agency “has been actively engaged with the combatant commanders, working forward-stocking solutions to improve the readiness of our combat forces,” Army Brig. Gen. Kathleen Gainey said in a recent Department of Defense news report.

Guam’s depot will operate through a contract, for which bids now are being sought, the report stated. It is expected to house more than 4,000 items, Rosbaugh said.

The contract is due to be awarded in June, with operations scheduled to begin in October.

For now, the three Navy submarines based on the island will be DDC’s principal customers on Guam, Rosbaugh said. Eventually, however, the depot may expand to support increased Air Force operations on the island.

“Guam’s an interesting story,” Rosbaugh said. The island “is becoming more of a strategic interest” to U.S. Pacific Command, Rosbaugh said. “As the interest increases, we’ll have the infrastructure to support” additional forces.

The Camp Carroll depot, which will support joint service customers on the Korean peninsula, is to open in December, carrying about 15,000 items, Rosbaugh said.

“Right now, we ship everything [U.S. troops need] from outside,” he said.

Asked why DDC has never established a supply depot in Korea in the 50-plus years the U.S. military has had a presence there, Rosbaugh laughed.

“That’s what I said!”

Part of the answer lies in the Army’s downsizing since the early 1990s, in particular, the movement of combat support services out of the active force and into the Reserve components, he said.

“The Army can’t take care of everything it did when it was twice the size,” Rosbaugh said. “They’re looking to outsource” depot capability.

DDC officials are putting only those items in South Korea which have historically been ordered at least four times a year by a U.S. supply officer with a unit stationed on the peninsula, Rosbaugh said.

“That way, it’s a guaranteed sale for us,” he said.


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