Phoenix, Arizona –
Leaders from government, industry and academia met in Arizona this week for the four-day Defense Manufacturing Conference, based on the theme “Defense Manufacturing Focused on Warfighter Dominance.”
The event opened in Phoenix on Monday with a highlight of manufacturing technology innovation efforts that support the defense industrial base.
DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams spoke Tuesday about the agency’s research and development efforts and how they support the national defense strategy. From improvements in battery technology used by troops in the field to the DLA Service Readiness Dashboard, which tracks how well the agency is supporting key weapons systems, Williams was enthusiastic.
“If there’s one concept to take away today, it’s that DLA and DLA R&D are all about improving the lives and capabilities of our warfighters,” he said.
David Koch, DLA’s research and development chief said the event allowed attendees to share ideas, learn about new technologies and focus on important topics impacting the Defense Department’s manufacturing capability.
“The conference provides DLA an opportunity to showcase many of our R&D projects while also facilitating collaboration with industry, academia and the military services on their focus areas and new capabilities,” he added.
Several DLA leaders participated in panel discussions on innovation, manufacturing technology and other topics.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Allan Day, DLA’s executive director of operations, moderated a panel on innovative technologies and manufacturing outlook. George Duchak, DLA’s chief information officer, joined the general in discussing how emerging capabilities must be capitalized on to improve the industrial base.
In a second panel, DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford focused on security implications in supply-chain processes. He was joined by Adarryl Roberts, DLA’s program executive officer, and Air Force Col. Scott Ritzel, DLA’s chief risk officer.
In closing comments, Williams said, “As we’re about to enter the third decade of the 21st century, we can look back and see what a long way we’ve come. Years ago, we could only dream of the amazing technologies and innovations we have today, but I would caution against resting on our laurels.”
The director highlighted the DLA Strategic Plan and its “Leading Change” supplement.
“We believe you can either let change happen to you,” he said, “or you can lead change.”