The Defense Logistics Agency must ensure its operations are performed efficiently with minimal disruption, especially during an emergency. For that reason, DLA has a Continuity of Operations Plan to ensure the organization is capable of conducting its essential missions and functions under all threats and conditions.
Once the plan is activated key personnel across DLA deploy to an alternate work site to quickly establish operational capability and perform essential functions ensuring the needs of the nation’s warfighters can be met, even when employees can’t work at their regular locations. Personnel remain activated until the Agency’s normal operations can be resumed.
The Agency’s primary COOP site to fulfill this key function is located at the Defense Supply Center Columbus in Central Ohio. The standalone facility maintained by DLA Land and Maritime is a fully established site with robust network capabilities, battle-tested equipment and room for hundreds of employees arriving at a moment’s notice.
“A COOP relocation works best when the facility is ‘stand-up’ ready,” explains Bill Ansley, the COOP planner for DLA Land and Maritime. “Being able to fall in on equipment and start your essential functions is vital to your organization’s success.”
Ansley’s responsibilities include maintaining the COOP site as well as managing COOP reception and devolution plans for Land and Maritime.
Ansley said the COOP facility has been in place for over 15 years and gone through various technology and equipment upgrades.
While it serves primarily as the alternate work site for headquarters staff, Ansley said the site is set up for any DLA entity to use. The COOP site has also hosted non-DLA organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 5 team, which brought in equipment to conduct exercises aimed at readiness and response.
Operational capabilities are regularly tested ensuring the COOP is always ready to activate at a moment’s notice. And while the severity and consequences of an emergency cannot be predicted, effective contingency planning can minimize the impact on missions, personnel and facilities.