It is the start of a new era at the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia, as employees and leaders celebrated the opening of its new, state-of-the-art headquarters building, Dec. 10.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony for Building 45, Army. Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams, director of the Defense Logistics Agency, said this military construction project was the first of its kind since DLA Troop Support moved to the Naval Support Activity Philadelphia more than 20 years ago.
“To the team, congratulations,” Williams said. “It’s been a long time coming, but you now have a beautiful, up-to-date structure which continues to provide world-class, full-spectrum support to the warfighter. You now have a 21st century building to go along with the 21st century support you provide.”
The 108,500-square-foot, four-story building was completed in October, and is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified. Environmentally-conscious design features include a geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, energy-efficient lighting and a green roof.
Additional amenities available to the 400 employees who work in the new building include sit-to-stand desks, common kitchen and dining areas on all four levels, and two elevators.
“Enjoy this facility, you deserve it,” Williams said. “Take advantage of the innovations. Use them to serve the warfighter more effectively and efficiently, and let us resolve to meet the future with the commitment that you have provided in the past.”
Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, Commander of Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, said the event marked another chapter in the organization’s historic lineage.
“While I know this project has been the vision of previous commanders, I am absolutely honored to be leading this great organization at this time,” Lawrence said.
While construction on Building 45 began in June 2017, planning has been in effect for nearly nine years.
Lawrence noted that DLA’s presence at NSA Philadelphia spans more than five decades, beginning with the Defense Industrial Supply Center, which provided construction and equipment and industrial repair parts services to warfighters.
The Defense Personnel Support Center relocated from South Philadelphia to this site in 1999, which brought the Clothing and Textiles, Medical and Subsistence supply chains here.
Williams also spoke about DLA Troop Support’s history, which dates back to the Schuylkill Arsenal, established in 1799.
“Today, Troop Support is as important to the American people as it has been in its 220 year history,” he said. “Through your support and five supply chains for DLA – five of [DLA’s] nine supply chains – you supply the items that are the most personal to our men and women in uniform.”
Adding to the historic tone for the day, Lawrence announced the intent of dedicating the building to Israel Whelen, who served as the purveyor of public supplies in Philadelphia in 1799.
“Mr. Whelen’s duties of working with industry to ensure troops had what they needed embodies the essence of DLA Troop Support’s mission as we continue his legacy more than 220 years later,” Lawrence said.
Closing out the ceremony, Williams, Lawrence, DLA Troop Support Deputy Commander Richard Ellis and Navy Capt. Preston Gill, commanding officer of NSA Mechanicsburg cut the ceremonial ribbon.
During his remarks, Williams also congratulated Troop Support’s most recent accomplishments during 2019, including $19 billion in sales, $241 million in humanitarian and disaster support, agreements with Veterans Affairs and Defense Health Agency, and support to the Air Force for their uniform transition.
“And I’m always so proud of this organization at time of year for providing holiday meals to our troops all over the world, wherever they might be,” Williams said.