Northeast Chamber tours DLA Troop Support

Members of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce took a tour of Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

The chamber crew: Last week, members of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce toured Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support. TOM WARING / TIMES PHOTO

More than 30 members of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce took a guided tour last week of Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, 700 Robbins Ave.

The business people, led by Chamber president Pam Henshall, met with, among others, Brigadier Gen. Mark T. Simerly, commander of DLA Troop Support since last July.

The guests visited the product test center, medals room and flag room.

In the product test center’s shade room, they learned the importance of camouflage uniforms being cut from the same cloth so they produce exact colors.

In the medals room, employees showed Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars and Medals of Honor. Medals have been made for Jeffrey Zaun, a prominent Gulf War Prisoner of War, and Michael Crescenz, a Cardinal Dougherty High School graduate and Medal of Honor winner for heroics in the Vietnam War.

In the flag room, visitors saw flags being made on computers or hand-embroidered the old-fashioned way. Supervisor Hue Nguyen explained that the women are trained for a year before they get to work on flags for the president and vice president of the United States.

In a roundtable meeting with Simerly and other brass, Chamber members watched a video and slideshow and took part in a question-and-answer session. They learned that DLA Troop Support is a tenant of the Navy-run facility. Michael Vaas, the commander and officer in charge of Naval Support Activity, joined in the conversation.

Simerly said DLA Troop Support and Defense Secretary James Mattis support and share the same mission of readiness and lethality.

DLA Troop Support focuses on subsistence, clothing and textiles, construction and equipment, industrial hardware and medical. The agency adheres to the Buy American Act.

“We’re extremely passionate about what we do,” Simerly said.

In the community, DLA Troop Support has worked in the areas of school tutoring, welcoming college interns, recognizing Vietnam War veterans, delivering Christmas presents to needy kids and donating food to Philabundance.

In addition, the agency has provided humanitarian relief to victims of earthquakes and hurricanes.

Henshall, the Chamber president, was impressed with the care and pride she saw in the employees as they do their part protecting American warfighters.

“It gives you chills. All of this is happening in Northeast Philadelphia,” she said.

For more information on the Defense Logistics Agency, visit dla.mil

For employment information at Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, visit usajobs.gov ••