Fort McCoy News March 25, 2016

DLA field office finds new homes for surplus property

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

For more than 50 years, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Disposition Services Field Office (Sparta) has been administering the reuse, transfer, donation, sale, and disposal of surplus Department of Defense (DOD) property.

Defense Reutilization Specialist Scott Humburg, who serves as the Fort McCoy DLA field office site lead, said the work and service of the office is critical to operational success in the DOD.

"Our first mission is to support the warfighter," Humburg said. "We support all the services in many ways — mostly through reutilization of equipment."

Photo: Defense Reutilization Specialist Scott Humburg prepares a pallet of equipment for shipping at the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Field Office (Sparta) at Fort McCoy.
Defense Reutilization Specialist Scott Humburg prepares a pallet of
equipment for shipping at the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition
Services Field Office (Sparta) at Fort McCoy.

An example of reutilization is when one DOD organization receives property from another.

"DLA wants to be the first source of supply (for DOD organizations)," Humburg said. "So, if someone from a DOD unit needs equipment, furniture, or something else, we want them to look at DLA's inventory first, see what we have, and then move on to other sources. Chances are we may have something a unit needs, and that, in turn, will save them and the government money versus buying something new. We'll also pay the shipping for all of our DOD customers."

Property turned into DLA Disposition Services is moved through reutilization to not only military and DOD organizations, but also can be transferred to other federal agencies; donated to state, local, and other qualifying organizations; or sold to the general public.

"Years ago, we had a store here that sold excess items, but not anymore," Humburg said. "Sales are now done through (a DLA contractor) at another location."

In recent years, state organizations have been among the office's most-frequent customers, Humburg said.

"We've worked with a lot of police and emergency-management agencies," Humburg said. "Our list of state firefighting agencies, for example, continues to grow as they take old military vehicles and equipment and turn them into equipment pieces that support their efforts."

Humburg described some recent examples.

"In Iowa (at a state firefighting agency), they turned one old vehicle into a brush-firefighting truck," Humburg said. "We also recently had some 'road closed' traffic signs that were sent to an Illinois (emergency-management) organization and were used in areas where there was a lot of flooding.

While the items are donated to state organizations, the receiving organization must pay to have items shipped. "We will only provide shipping to DOD organizations," Humburg said.

Much of the property that Humburg and his team manage is processed as "receipt-in-place," meaning it's property that is kept at the originating military facility. Keeping the property at the originating facility until its final disposition helps save on shipping costs.

Photo: Materiel Examiner and Identifier Brandon Roderick looks at serial numbers on a Humvee slated for turn-in.
Materiel Examiner and Identifier Brandon Roderick looks at serial numbers
on a Humvee slated for turn-in.

"We always want to be good stewards of the taxpayer's dollars, so we always look at the best ways to process property for our customers," Humburg said.

The types of old property that come through the office for processing can be almost anything, said Materiel Examiner and Identifier Brandon Roderick, also with the DLA field office.

"I've seen 40-ton cranes, a locomotive, a great big barge we got one time, and unmanned aircraft (drones)," Roderick said. "We've certainly had some interesting things go through here, but they often end up someplace where those things will be reutilized."

DLA Disposition Services also sells a variety of scrap material that has no resale value, such as light and heavy metals, tires, and canvases. Scrap property is put out for bids through Government Liquidation/Liquidity Services and sold by the pound to recycler operations.

Humburg said they have customers all over the United States, and after many years in his position, he can often help get items to organizations that really need them.

"Doing this for 20 years, you make many contacts with people," Humburg said. "You know what a specific organization is looking for, and you can help that organization find it quickly."

Humburg also said having a great team is crucial to the office's success.

"All of us work well together," Humburg said. "We have a great team, and we all maintain a good rapport with our customers. We always get compliments on our customer service, which tells me we have great people working here."

Roderick has been at his job for more than 10 years.

"I get to meet a lot of new people and hear success stories about items they have received," Roderick said. "I get to see how we help get things to people who in turn help communities. To me, it's nice to see our tax dollars still being put to good use."

For more information at about the DLA field office at Fort McCoy, call 608-388-3718/3719. For more information about DLA Disposition Services, go online to www.dla.mil/DispositionServices.aspx.