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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Aug. 13, 2010
Executive Briefing

American Logistics Association
63rd Annual Convention

October 19-21, 2010
Hyatt Regency, Bellevue, WA
Click HERE for details!

President's Message

Breaking News:

We have been alerting you over the course of the last several months the cost cutting initiatives that were soon to hit and now the Secretary of Defense has begun to paint by the numbers the portrait of budget reductions to begin in the immediate future. While his presentation this past Monday detailed some specific actions, the underlying culture shift will result in a "clean sheet" evaluation of every program in the Department. We remain vigilant and engaged. We continue to work with the elected and appointed officials to educate and emphasize the beneficial restructuring that has already taken place and the exceptional return on investment to the taxpayer from these important quality of life programs.

Thousands of defense jobs to be eliminated
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Craig Whitlock
Gates noted that the number of people working directly for him — in the Office of the Secretary of Defense — has swelled by 1,000 employees over the past decade, an increase of about 50 percent. He said he would freeze the number of personnel in his office, as well as those working for defense agencies and the military's 10 combatant commands, for the next three years.

Known impacts of reductions:

In Norfolk and N.Va., fears about the impact
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman
Virginia officials reacted with bipartisan dismay on Monday to Defense Department budget shifts that will cost the state thousands of jobs in coming years and will dramatically impact the economies of the Norfolk area and Northern Virginia.

And then there is this news:

Private wages no match for Feds'
Read the Full Story
USA Today, Dennis Cauchon
At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

But wait:

Virginia lawmakers say joint forces closure may be illegal
Read the Full Story
Newport News Daily Press, Kimball Payne
Virginia congressional leaders are questioning whether Defense Secretary Robert Gates can legally shut down Joint Forces Command in a rapidly evolving effort to block a drawdown that could harm Hampton Roads' economy.

Base access:

I have recently been getting a flurry of calls from members seeking advice about the correct course of action to take as the date nears for several Navy Installations to implement a Rapidgate base access system. The theme of these calls boils down to the prohibitive cost. In two instances the members reported that using the fee schedule proposed and the number of individuals that must access the base on a regular basis, the cost is in the range approaching $2,000 per base. I reported earlier that we approached DoD and the Navy about the Rapidgate program and its cost. OSD said it was not an approved process — the Navy said "so what" — I told the members that called to hold off for a couple of weeks and see if OSD would propose a policy that would clarify the physical access dilemma facing the ALA.

ALA became part of the FiXs federation more than 4 years ago. As you all know we have spent the last several years working with this program because DoD told us it was the direction they were going in. In fact Rapidgate used to be a part of the FiXs federation but they dropped out a while back probably because they figured they could make more money by selling a service than developing a federated solution. ALA has no proprietary interest in any solution and we realize that all our members want is a reliable way to get on and off base to take care of business. This is not a case of competing companies trying to sell a product — FiXs versus Rapidgate — FiXs is a federation developing a process for other companies to sell and Rapidgate is selling a service. The FiXs solution is approved by DoD, validated by the test at Fort Belvoir, and stated to be an accepted credential by DoD's Northern Command. Rapidgate is not. But as the Navy said, "so what." You need to do what gets you on base. We have more than expressed our frustration to DOD, FiXs and anyone else who will listen. The criticism we receive along the way is accepted. If you do not make mistakes it is because you are not doing anything. Any action that raises the awareness of the problem is welcome.

We have told the FiXs folks that we do not feel they are aggressive enough with the DoD officials they have been working with for the last 6-7 years and there should be supporting policy in place by now. It was hoped that the heft of the ALA's physical access requirements would accelerate the process but after two years of intense involvement we still have not reached the finish line. We continue to believe that the FiXs card will ultimately be universally accepted because it is compliant with all of the DoD protocols and we will continue to press for its universal acceptance at all DoD bases including the Navy. Our objective continues to be a universally accepted and affordable card for industry to access bases to service resale and MWR entities.

Nevertheless, we recognize that Rapidgate is proliferating and ALA will engage Rapidgate in an effort to integrate the FiXs card into their system so that it can be read and accepted along with Rapidgate cards or negotiate a better rate for members than the numbers being quoted. At this point we cannot be concerned about truth, justice and the American Way of base access; it is about getting on and off the installation.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

RAF to shrink to World War One levels    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the most significant changes to Britain's defences since the post-Suez review of 1957, ministers and officials plan to scrap large parts of the Armed Forces. The Services will lose up to 16,000 personnel, hundreds of tanks, scores of fighter jets and half a dozen ships, under detailed proposals passed to The Daily Telegraph. More

A new batch of younger employees finding their place in federal workforce
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The Obama administration hopes to fill 50,000 to 60,000 entry-level jobs in the next year, the largest burst since the Kennedy era. The administration is creating positions in security, public health, defense — and is pushing many jobs held by outside contractors inside the government. More

Focus on life after war, Mullen says
The Olympian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After nine years of constant combat, the U.S. military is shifting focus from executing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to helping the troops who've fought them adjust to life outside the war zone, the nation's top officer said Monday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. More

GOP senator's heated objection delays defense policy bill
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin failed to gain unanimous consent recently to bring up the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill when the Senate returns to Washington in September. Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the committee, vigorously objected to the unanimous consent request, saying he opposed several provisions in the bill, including one that would repeal the 1993 law banning openly gay individuals from serving in the military. More

Mattis takes over as CentCom chief
St. Petersburg Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Completing a change of command touched off by a controversy, the U.S. Central Command's newest leader took control Wednesday and pledged continuity in prosecuting the nation's wars. In a ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base in South Tampa, Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis assumed command of military operations for 20 Middle Eastern countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq. More

Pentagon: Next Wikileaks dump could be worse
Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Pentagon says it believes the next document dump by WikiLeaks will be even more damaging to national security and the war effort than the organization's initial release of some 76,000 war files. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Thursday that the military believes it has identified the additional 15,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks has vowed to release. More

Commissary News

Price war threatens cereal makers' profits
Market Watch    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an interview with MarketWatch, Kellogg Chief Executive David Mackay said supermarket chains and other retailers were using cereal to draw shoppers into their stores, just as cheap milk and meats were dangled in front of consumers earlier this year. Weak cereal prices forced Kellogg to cut its 2010 profit and sales growth targets. More

States weigh bans on plastic grocery bags    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Since San Francisco enacted the nation's first ban on plastic grocery bags in 2007, dozens of cities have followed with their own bans, regulations or taxes on the lightweight bags, which have a way of blowing into tree branches and waterways. At least 24 states have considered similar legislation, but so far, the movement has stalled in the statehouses. More

Soaring wheat costs may turn grocery prices higher
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A severe drought in Russia could result in higher prices for bread in U.S. stores, as a spike in wheat costs may lead manufacturers to ease up on the discounts retailers pushed for during the recession. But consumers and retailers may push back. More

Wal-Mart grocery prices may portend inflation
Money Control    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart Stores backed away from steep grocery discounts in July, signaling that consumers' reprieve from food inflation since the recession may soon end. In the United States, Wal-Mart sells more groceries than any other retailer. A move away from discounts to drive sales would help other supermarkets raise prices as costs for staples like beef, dairy and fresh produce increase. More
Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website as of 10 a.m., August 12, 2010:

  • DP #21 WW Promotion Package.
  • DP #18 CONUS Promotion and Shipper Quantities.
  • International Christmas, Update #1.
  • Holiday Chill/Freeze, Update #1.
  • Holiday Seasonal Cookies/Crackers/Fruitcake, Update #1.
  • Holiday Gift Packs/HBP Gift Packs, Update #1.
  • Winter Cocoa and Cider, Update #1.

  • 10-129, Electronic Customer Service Training Program.
  • 10-132, DeCA 2011 Regular 2 Week Promotion Calendar — Revision (Cancelled NTT 10-118).

  • Adds/Changes/Deletes for week 10-32.
  • Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.

Exchange News

Navy testing new uniforms    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Navy is set to field two new camouflage uniforms next year, just months after the last of the fleet will be issued the service's newest pixel-pattern, blue-and-grey "Navy Working Uniform." Navy officials announced late last year they would provide a service-specific camouflage pattern to the ever-growing number of Sailors supporting operations in combat environments, recognizing the bright colors of their newest at-sea uniform were inappropriate for anything other than shipboard operations. More

California city council gives nod to 24-hour gas station and mini-mart
Silicon Valley Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A proposed AM/PM gas station/convenience store can stay open for 24 hours, the Watsonville City Council decided recently. The decision clears the way for development of the project at the corner of Holohan and Green Valley roads. "These economic times are not temporary," said Councilman Emilio Martinez. "Right now that business would be good to stop a lot of the tourist traffic coming down that road on the way to the beach. I'm all for stopping traffic in Watsonville, every time." More

New York restaurants warm to new temperature rules
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years, owners from Chinatown to Sunset Park have struggled with stringent temperature rules they say interfered with an age-old tradition: hanging roasted ducks and pork in storefronts. Now, the Department of Health has altered its rules, allowing ducks and other roasted meat to hang for up to four hours at any temperature. More

California likes fast-food breakfast
The Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new ranking of fast-food restaurant markets where consumers tend to make breakfast a must, not a maybe, puts the Fresno-Visalia, Calif. region near the top of the list. About 38 percent of adults in the area bought breakfast from a "quick service restaurant" in the past month, according to an analysis by Scarborough Research, a joint partnership with The Nielsen Company and Arbitron, Inc. More

Online retail spending on the rise thus far in 2010
E-commerce News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It seems as though most economic data that’s been released this year, be it from a government agency like the Commerce Department or via industry and trade groups reporting on specific sectors of our economy, has done little but induce depression. Even though unemployment is up, and the deficit is widening one economic indicator that continues to point upward and provide some hope is online retail spending. More

San Francisco proposal: Healthier kid's meals or no toys
San Francisco Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Toys that have been synonymous with kids' meals at fast-food restaurants could soon be banned in San Francisco under a new law proposed recently if the food contains too much fat, sugar or salt. Earlier this year, Santa Clara County became the first local government in the nation to adopt such a law, but it only applies to unincorporated areas and affects a handful of restaurants. More

Chicago partners with Walgreens to bring groceries to food deserts
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mayor Richard Daley and Walgreen Co. officials touted progress recently in the city's push to wipe out "food deserts" in Chicago. The Deerfield-based drugstore chain is adding fresh fruit and vegetables at four stores by next week, bringing to 10 the number of such outposts on the city's South and West sides. More

AAFES Auto-Compliance Policy Discussion Questions & Answers, Part II

ALA VP, Bob Ellis used industry supplied questions to interview Rosie Schultz, Principle Trade Promotion Officer and Joel Gaugu on the AAFES Auto Compliance Program that was rolled out to industry on 1 August. This is the second phase of questions and answers. Please forward your questions and comments on this article to:

Additional Questions and Responses:

Question: What happens when claims arrive with no back-up to explain?

Response: AAFES compliance claims list PO No.'s and a description of the infraction(s). Suppliers may send an inquiry to if further explanation is needed.

Question: What happens when purchase orders are amended by the buyer, but the DC does not have them?

Response: One of the additional benefits of the automated process is that PO amendments are captured to prevent erroneous claims. If an erroneous claim is generated, Suppliers have 60 days to dispute the claim with before any deductions occur.

Question: Orders are held open based on new product availability; buyer agrees to this, but the receiving system does not have this reflected in it.

Response: Buyer/Allocator/Replenisher are required to process an amendment should they change a shipping date. However, if a charge generates because an amendment has not been processed, the claim can be reversed.

Question: Lead times and shipping windows are too short for some auto replenished products; watches are an example.

Response: The supplier should address all lead time and ship window issues to the buying teams to insure optimum supply chain efficiency. If timely action is not made, suppliers should contact the DMM's for resolution.

Question: Extending an order may be approved be the buyer, but the receiving system does not reflect this

Response: Buyer/Allocator/Replenisher are required to process an amendment should they change a shipping date. However, if a charge generates because an amendment has not been processed, the claim can be reversed.

Question: In all cases, this deduction is taken and industry has to provide explanation for the claim to be reversed.

Response: There are no deductions that include all types of business currently being taken by AAFES. Furthermore, any supplier has 60 days to dispute a claim before a deduction is processed.

Question: We have clients who plan to move forward to Chep pallets, but AAFES only wants heat-treated wooden pallets.

Response: The pallet requirements are unchanged as outlined in the Supplier requirements. Every retailer has unique shipping requirements. AAFES is a worldwide retailer who has to abide by various country specific laws, often without exception.

Question: Claims may take 6-8 months to resolve.

Response: Suppliers who feel the resolution process is not being performed in a timely manner may direct their concerns to coop@aafes.comWashington Update

OSD MWR customer satisfaction survey results: Challenges and opportunities
ALA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In separate public addresses less than two weeks apart, our Nation's two most senior DoD leaders shared profound sentiments about the Troops and Families who serve in the Armed Forces past,present and future. On June 3rd, 2010 Secretary Gates said, "At the heart of the volunteer force is a contract between the United States of America and the men and women who serve in our military — contract that is simultaneously legal, social, and indeed sacred. That when young Americans step forward of their own free will to serve, they do so with the expectation that they and their families will be properly taken care of." More

Who will run your company?
The Conferecne Board Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Businesses depend on leadership talent to guide them through change, solve complex problems, and build for the future. Yet countless organizations are failing — failing to adapt to change, failing to implement strategy, failing to innovate or reinvent themselves for the future — and the reason comes back to the issue of leadership talent. More


Grunt Apparel, Inc.

Grunt Apparel specializes in original military inspired designs in silk screen & embroidery at low prices. Licensed by all military branches.
More info

Hubert Company

Gear up for the busy Holiday Season with NEW Silicone Cup Can Measures or Digital Measuring Cup. The Universal Magnetic Heater to fit full size chafers is perfect for indoor or outdoor events.

Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods is dedicated to bringing you quality, service, and support you need to drive sales. More


Executive Briefing
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