DLA - Defense Logistics Agency

06/04/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/04/2024 12:32

Naval Postgraduate School students visit DLA Distribution San Joaquin for capstone project

TRACY, Calif. -

Four students from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, visited Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Depot San Joaquin, California, May 23 to gather information as part of their school's capstone project.

The school's team-based project, a requirement for graduation, is an ongoing collaborative effort that requires original, analytical and critical thinking which helps teach the students to assess real-world problems and develop strategies to form potential resolutions.

The team of U.S. Army students, which included Maj. Justin Bland, Capt. Curtis Hart, Capt. Zachary Huerter and Capt. Daniel Spies, toured the Unitized Group Rations facility to get a firsthand look at how the mission operates. The purpose of the students' walk-through was to obtain a basic understanding of how the UGR facility, the only one of its kind within the Department of Defense, receives and stores the materiel, kits the components together, and ultimately ships them out to DoD customers. San Joaquin's UGR mission is the sole producer and distributer of UGR Heat & Serve, UGR Marines, and UGR Express group subsistence for the U.S. military and Whole-of-Government organizations worldwide.

Of specific interest to the students was the portion of the stock that doesn't make it to the normal shipping process and is instead discarded due to the expiration of the food components' shelf life. During fiscal year 2023 alone, the UGR mission generated 750 tons of waste at a cost of $114,305. At issue, the students noted, were conflicts with regards to the prioritization and allocation of resources for the production of the various UGR meal kits, as well as a current lack of alternatives to the process of disposing of the expired products.

The tour was led by Danielle Hernandez, UGR Branch Chief, DLA Distribution San Joaquin, and James Armstrong, Specialized Missions Division Chief, DLA Distribution San Joaquin. The students learned about the UGR mission's process from order to fulfillment, and how the various organizations - from the customer to DLA Troop Support - interact during the various stages of the process.

The students will apply the newly acquired knowledge to the completion of their project, the findings of which they will share with DLA Distribution San Joaquin leadership, before they graduate from NPS next year.