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13th Sustainment conducts professional development

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Staff officers from the 13th Sustainment Command conducted a leader professional development session with professors from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Feb. 27 at the unit’s headquarters building.

Patrick Jaska, chair of the Business Computer Information Systems Department, and Nancy Bonner, assistant professor and director, Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Information Systems programs, led the discussion on supply chain management with more than 40 of the unit’s senior leaders.

“As Army logisticians, we do logistics. In the civilian sector, it is known as supply chain management,” said Lt. Col. Dean Huard, supply and services officer for the 13th’s support operations section.

This professional development session is a “good opportunity to learn from an expert who teaches it, and simultaneously, enhance our relationship with the city of Belton and UMHB,” Huard said.

The intent of the development session was to apply strategic concepts of supply chain management to the tactical level of sustaining the force. Jaska discussed the different types of military supply and how they compare to the civilian industry.

Jaska said in the civilian business world, supply chain management is about achieving efficiency to garner profit. In military operations, the incentive to achieve efficiency is getting supplies, food and ammunition to the soldiers on the ground, because often it’s a matter of life or death.

This was the first such presentation Jaska has conducted at Fort Hood or on any military installation, and he said that he also learned much from the session.

“Every time that I present anywhere, I feel that I learn from the audience,” Jaska said. “Now, I have a better understanding of how our military moves material, troops and equipment.”

When asked how this presentation differed from his usual discussions on the topic, Jaska said, “The biggest difference was in my introduction where I talked about the military supply chain. After my visit to Fort Hood, I may include that part in my civilian presentations where appropriate.”

Jaska expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to deliver this presentation on Fort Hood and fielded a variety of questions from the unit’s leadership.

“The military audience was excellent and interactive,” Jaska said. “I have great respect for our men and women in uniform. I appreciate their service to me and our country.”

This was the first in a series of supply chain management discussions for the 13th. Leaders also plan to visit a local business to see, firsthand, processes and procedures in action.

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