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DLA Aviation
Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR)

The Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR) is a Department of Defense installation that sits on just over 600 acres in southern Chesterfield County, Virginia. The center and its tenant organizations employ more than 3,000 workers whose mission is to support the needs of the military services worldwide. As of 2006, that support included the acquisition of material for more than 700,000 items of supply, as well as the maintenance of a wide array of logistics information, technical specifications and data.

Also known as Bellwood, the center occupies one of the oldest inhabited parcels of land in the United States. The land felt the presence of English settlers just 12 years after colonists first arrived at Jamestown in 1607 and stood witness to the panorama of the nation's history for almost 4 centuries. Thomas Sheffield was its first owner, receiving a royal land grant of 2,300 acres from the Crown of England in 1619.

Sheffield's tenure on the land was short-lived, however. He and a group of 10 settlers, including his family, were killed in an attack in March 1622. A later owner, Richard Gregory of Dinwiddie, bought approximately 1,000 acres and built a dwelling house between 1797 and 1804. The estate also played a role in the War Between the States. Gregory, at his death, left the bulk of his estate to his son, who in turn passed it to Major Augustus Drewry and his wife, Lavinia, who was Richard Gregory's granddaughter.

During Drewry's ownership, the Confederates erected a fort known as Drewry's Bluff, or Fort Darling, on the property on the James River. There they defended Richmond from attacks by Union gunboats. In May 1864, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard made the family home his headquarters. It also served as a meeting place between Beauregard and President Jefferson Davis when they conferred on a plan to halt the Union advance on Richmond.

In 1887, the entire property was sold to James Bellwood, a Canadian agriculturist seeking a more temperate climate for reasons of his health. Over the years, Bellwood and his 3 sons transformed their 2,400 acre farm into a model of agriculture for Virginia and the South. He also added a pair of mated elk to the then famous farm.

The Army purchased the property in 1941, along with the Bellwood elk herd, and construction began in August 1941. The Richmond General Depot was activated in January 1942 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Turner R. Sharp, Quartermaster Corps. By March 1941, supplies were rolling in and out. The depot employed more than 8,450 people during the peak years of World War II. On a single day in March 1941, more than 850 rail cars were dispatched and received. During the depot's first 30 months of operation, the tonnage shipped, if converted to a solid freight train, would stretch well over 1,000 miles.

Throughout these decades of construction and activity, the family dwelling remained and served as the installation officers' club, taking on this role 1942. It was on the Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places and is an officially-registered historic landmark in both Virginia and Chesterfield County. The club was a popular choice of employees, area residents, and civic and business organizations for their meetings, receptions and other social gatherings. The elk herd also remained, and became synonymous with the facility.

The installation underwent several name changes during its over 55 years of operation. It became the Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR) in December 1995 when Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) decisions changed the center's mission from one of general supplies to weapon systems support. It subsequently managed a mix of military-unique items supporting over 1,300 major weapon systems and other items readily available in the commercial market. The center also evolved from the traditional, military method of operation by restructuring and adopting commercial business practices, such as electronic commerce, creating a customer call center, long-term and corporate contracts, and direct vendor delivery as opposed to stock shipments. The Bellwood workforce was ever mindful of its heritage and responsibility to the community as it positions itself to face the challenges of the future, both in mission and technology. It pursued its commitment to process improvement to increase efficiency and productivity, providing ever-increasing support to its military and federal customers worldwide.

As part of the BRAC 2005 process, the Secretary of Defense put forward the following recommendation: Realign Defense Supply Center, Richmond, Virginia by disestablishing storage and distribution functions for tires, and the supply, storage, and distribution functions for packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants, and compressed gases. It would retain the supply contracting function for packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants, and compressed gases. DoD also recommended to realign Naval Support Activity, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, by relocating the supply contracting function for packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants to the Inventory Control Point at Defense Supply Center, Richmond, Virginia, and disestablishing all other supply functions for packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants.

The Secretary of Defense's justification was that this first recommendation would achieve economies and efficiencies that would enhance the effectiveness of logistics support to forces as they transitioned to more joint and expeditionary operations. This recommendation would disestablish the wholesale supply, storage, and distribution functions for all tires; packaged petroleum, oils and lubricants; and compressed gases used by the Department of Defense, retaining only the supply contracting function for each commodity. The Department would privatize these functions and would rely on private industry for the performance of supply, storage, and distribution of these commodities. By doing so, the Department could divest itself of inventories and eliminate infrastructure and personnel associated with these functions. This recommendation would result in more responsive supply support to user organizations and would thus add to capabilities of the future force. The recommendation would provide improved support during mobilization and deployment, and the sustainment of forces when deployed worldwide. Privatization would enable the Department to take advantage of the latest technologies, expertise, and business practices, which translates to improved support to customers at less cost. It centralizes management of tires; packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants; and compressed gases and eliminates unnecessary duplication of functions within the Department. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation was seen as having the potential to result in the maximum potential job reductions of 57 total jobs (32 direct and 25 indirect) in the Richmond, Virginia, Metropolitan Statistical Area over the 2006-2011 time period (less than 0.1 percent).

By 2006, on an average day, DSCR processed over 7,000 supply requests from around the globe. The value of the material it provides to its customers was anticipated to reach the $1.4 billion mark. The installation ranked among the top 10 employers in the Richmond metro area and, with a payroll and operating expenses over $230 million, was a significant contributor to the strength of local and Commonwealth economies. These, however, were only a few of the facts which make the installation a notable spot on the area landscape.

Product Center 1 (PC 1) was responsible for providing weapon system support to all Department of Defense (DoD) helicopters and support to the Life Support systems for military aircraft. PC 1 managed 56,216 National Stock Numbers (NSNs) in 12 Federal Stock Classes (FSCs). The helicopter product center had been in existence since October 1997, following a weapon system management breakout of the helicopter, cargo and fighter sections. The product center was organized into weapon system cells, which supported the H-1, H-2, H-3, H-46, H-47, H-53, OH-58, H-60, AH-64 helicopters, among others, and aviation life support items, including ejection seat components, parachutes, and harnesses. Each weapon system cell contained functional specialists from contracting, supply, and technical/quality.

Product Center 3 (PC 3) managed 46,261 NSNs in 10 Federal Supply Classes (FCSs) focusing on weapon system support for the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. Twenty-three active engines had been identified for support. This product center was formed in April 1996 and stemmed from the BRAC Committee. The items initially transfered were Federal Supply Group (FSG) 2800 from the Defense Industrial Supply Center (DISC) in the third quarter FY96, with FSG 2900 following in July 1996. Consumable Item Transfer Phase II was impacting the product center as it received management of engine items from the services.

Product Center 10 (PC 10) was a customer focused multifunctional team responsibile for the item management, technical assistance, acquisition, and quality assurance of Cargo Aviation Weapon System Support. PC 10 managed 54,485 National Stock Numbers (NSNs), which were in support of cargo military aircraft. Weapons Systems Supported included the C-130, KC-135, C-141, C-5, S-3, C-17, E-2, C-2, P-3, E-3, E-4B, and others. Many of these were aging systems requiring greater and greater support without historical demand patterns to aid forecasting.

Product Center 11 (PC 11) was a customer focused multifunctional team responsible for the item management, technical assistance, acquisition, and quality assurance for Aviation Weapon System Support. PC 11 managed 92,300 National Stock Numbers (NSNs), which were in support of military aircraft. Many of these were aging systems requiring greater and greater support without historical demand patterns to aid forecasting. Items managed include aircraft structural components, landing gear, and accessories.

In 2010, as part of the We Are DLA inititive, the organizational component of DSCR was renamed to DLA Aviation. The facility name remained unchanged. DLA Aviation supported more than 1,300 major weapon systems as the military's primary source for more than 1.3 million repair parts and operating supply items. More than 444,000 of the items managed were aviation parts, including spares for engines on fighters, bombers, cargo aircraft and helicopters; airframe and landing gear parts; flight safety equipment; and propeller systems.

DLA Aviation also managed supply, storage and distribution operations alongside its military customers at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina; Naval Air Station North Island, California; and Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.

DLA Aviation also managed depot-level reparable procurement operations at Robins, Tinker and Hill Air Force Bases; Navy Inventory Control Point Philadelphia; and Redstone Army Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

By 2010, the aviation supply chain had personnel at over a dozen stateside sites directly supporting warfighters. At that time, DLA Aviation also operated the federal government's only industrial plant equipment facility at Navy Inventory Control Point, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:56:04 ZULU