New Coast Guard operational logistics team
helps streamline the flow of information, support
Rear Adm. Richard T. Gromlich became the first director of oper-
ational logistics (DOL) for the Coast Guard in April. He is responsible for
the delivery of mission support logistics during normal Coast Guard
operations, contingency response and major events, such the Olympics.
Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., Gromlich oversees new logistics bases in
Miami and Seattle, and is tasked with establishing an operations support
planning capability and building a mission support compliance capability.
He currently leads a staff of 42 military and civilian personnel. Additional
logistics bases are scheduled to be established next year.
Gromlich previously served as director of the mission support integration office, where he was responsible for contingency and operational
logistics integration, business transformation, continuous process
improvement and strategic planning efforts across the 17,000-
member Coast Guard Mission Support Organization. In 2010, he led
contingency logistics operations in support of the Coast Guard’s response to the earthquake in Haiti and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico.
From 2007 to 2009, he served as chief of the Office of Logistics and director of the Logistics
Transformation Program Integration Office.
He discussed the challenges associated with contingency planning and how the Coast Guard can improve
on it with Assistant Editor John C. Marcario. Excerpts follow:
What has been the most difficult part of being
the leader of a new directorate?
GROMLICH: The toughest part right now is just trying
to get our arms around what I call our “world of
work.” What are those things that we need to be
involved in and how do we prioritize that with very
Some examples I can give you are particularly on
the contingency side of things. On the normal day-to-day operational support and logistics support, I think
we’re in pretty good shape, but on the contingency
side, when we’re looking at how we respond to hurricanes or any other kind of natural disaster, we’re taking
a really good look at the logistics support required by
our Coast Guard piece of that. I think that’s probably
the most challenging piece right now, just figuring out
what we need to be involved in.
We’ve got things coming up now, like drilling in the
Arctic. International offshore drilling off of Cuba, that’s
a big thing right now and we’re making sure that, from
a mission support standpoint, we’re ready to support
Coast Guard assets should we have to respond to anything. Obviously, we’ve learned a lot from the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We learned a lot from our
response to Haiti. I think we’re better positioned now
than we ever have been.