Single filed and carrying black mesh bags, students from across the country pour into the logistics room to collect their daily ration of equipment. Tyvek suits, rubber boots, compressed air, among many other training tools line the racks and walls for students to grab as if grocery shopping. Along the aisles Leidos logistics personnel are assisting. This direct interaction is one of the very few that logistics staff will have with students, but without logistics, training would never happen.
“They make training happen, day in and day out,” said Billy Wooten, Leidos assistant logistics manager.
Leidos has 28 full-time, part-time and temporary employees that operate the four major logistic areas spread throughout campus, as well as a craftsmen’s workshop, said Mike Purner, Leidos logistics manager.
“In Building 61 and Noble Training Facility (NTF), we have maintenance recovery facilities,” said Purner. “We have a fleet of 17 vehicles which include 11 support vehicles and six training-aid vehicles (fire engines, ambulances, etc.) and six cargo trailers. We have more than 4,700 barcoded items and numerous items that are not barcoded.”
“Our key and essential goals are to manage, maintain and service training equipment to include consumables, vehicles and storage facilities associated with training not only found at NTF, but throughout the campus at the CDP,” said Zachary Hood, NTF Leidos logistic team leader. “We are about providing customer service to both internal and external constituents in a professional, quick and timely manner.”
The logistics team manages and maintains millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and supplies required for the state-of-the-art training at the CDP.
“The biggest job is the equipment, having it where it is supposed to be, when it is supposed to be and ready to go, cleaned and working,” said Wooten.
Ensuring equipment is working properly and ready for distribution is a team effort. Coordinating manpower is a huge challenge, said Wooten. The team needs to be flexible and move from area to area to tackle the mission.
“In logistics, we are a family,” said Hood. “We may be separated by locations but our operations are unified.”
It is not uncommon for a person to work two or three areas of operation throughout the day. From equipment sanitization to allocation to fabrication, logistics personnel come together as a team to ensure CDP students are prepared, said Wooten.
The logistics personnel pride themselves on their ability to go unnoticed throughout training at the CDP.
“A lot of what is done is completely under the radar,” said Wooten. “You never see it, but if it is wrong, you’ll know it.”
“The [Integrated Capstone Events] always make our operations tempo increase dramatically,” said Purner. “It takes all of our available resources to effectively support these exercises.”
The ICE is multi-course exercise using NTF, Advanced Responder Training Complex (ARTC) and equipment. Role player actors, patient simulators and manikins are used throughout the entire exercise.
“Special projects that we have accomplished that required special effort were to fully dress more than 100 manikins to include shoes and socks,” said Hood. “We had to pay special attention to children-, female- and male-specific clothing so the manikins’ genders matched during the exercise.”
Each area of logistics offers different challenges and goals. With approximately 13,000 resident and 5,500 nonresident students a year, logistics employees stay well-versed in courses offered at the CDP to anticipate the student’s needs.
“The employees in the logistics department are unique,” said Hood. “They have various backgrounds in areas such as law enforcement, HAZMAT, military and emergency management. Many of our employees have logged thousands of miles on the road, in the air and have represented the CDP in most of the United States.”
Logistical support doesn’t stop at the CDP; Leidos has mobile units specifically for nonresident training. Two employees are the fabricators for the logistics team and create the training props necessary for onsite, nonresident training.
“We drive the equipment to where it needs to be in Ohio, Texas, or whichever state the training is in,” said Wooten. “After the course we pick it up and bring it back to the CDP to clean and get ready to go back out on the road.”
With CDP training in such high demand, more classes are being booked that require logistical support. More classes mean more overlap of equipment and logistics are rising to the challenge.
“We may have a day or two to recover equipment, but sometimes we may have to turn it around the same day,” said Wooten.
The logistics team tries to get the equipment as it becomes available from students, said Wooten. They are constantly moving and operate as a single unit. Used equipment and kits come in, and after a little maintenance, it is back on the shelves ready for another student.
Without the logistics team, CDP training would be an impossibility. All 28 of the employees make sure our Nation’s finest receive the best training available by making sure their gear is where it needs to be and ready for use.
“It takes a good team to make it happen and we have one of the best,” said Wooten.