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Incirlik DRMO essential to base mission

Musa Sinim, a fork lift driver for Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, helps move equipment around. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan Lipscomb)

Musa Sinim, a fork lift driver for Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, helps move equipment around. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan Lipscomb)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Imagine a place where you can save Uncle Sam money on your office supplies while doing a good thing for the environment by reutilizing dated supplies. You could feel twice as good about obtaining supplies from the Defense Reutilization Management Office, commonly known on bases as DRMO, because you get what you need at no cost to the government and that old metal desk doesn't end up in a land fill. 

Thought the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, commonly known as DRMS, was simply the last stop for that office chair or outdated facsimile machine? Think again.
Established in 1972 to consolidate the different military services' disposal operations, the Defense Property Disposal Service, renamed the DRMS in 1985, has saved billions of dollars for the U.S. Government, according to its Web site at www.drms.dla.mil. In 2005 alone, DRMS reutilized $1.7 billion in supplies. DRMS has a DRMO at every permanent base worldwide, to include Incirlik. 

But did you know DRMS, to include Incirlik's DRMO, has supported military contingency missions in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan? And it does still. It's mission is to "provide the DoD's best value services and deliver great performance to our customers for the reuse, transfer, donation, sale or disposal of excess/surplus property." 

"At Incirlik, the DRMO is a field activity for the Forward Support Team- Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany, with its headquarters at Battle Creek, Michigan.," said Harrison Butler, DRMS Area Manager. "The DRMO here supports all U.S. activities in Turkey and provides the same basic service as other base DRMOs. The only difference in Turkey is that we cannot sell surplus government property due to the country to country agreement. Our emphasis is on finding legitimate customers for U.S. government surplus property and be compliant in the processing of scrap materials and hazardous property for disposal." 

The Incirlik DRMO is a source of supply for Incirlik activities, kind of like the end-of-the-road for the supply chain, for both excess serviceable and scrap property, according to Mr. Butler, who manages the Incirlik DRMO with a small staff of three local national employees and no military personnel assigned. 

The Incirlik DRMO also manages the disposal of the base's hazardous waste. Aside from the surplus property, aircraft parts, electronics, machines, hardware and vehicles DRMO reutilizes, the Incirlik office recently spearheaded the effort to obtain in-country disposal for hazardous waste. 

"DRMS serves the United States government's interests on Incirlik in concert with local requirements imposed by the host nation," said Mr. Butler. "There are large quantities of excess government property generated by the military in Turkey, but this property cannot be released to the host nation. Some of this property requires special oversight by trained personnel and this is where we come in." 

"We ensure compliance with U.S., International and Turkish environmental laws," said Mr. Butler. "Meeting both U.S. and Turkish requirements in the regulated environment of exporting property is a challenge here. Meeting our customer's requirements for certain commodities in short supply can also be pretty tough as well." 

The supplies Incirlik's DRMO handles go far beyond that old office chair or hazardous materials. Recently, the base had a surplus of 5,668 cases of MREs. Rather than let them go to waste, the excess was sent, with the agreement of Turkish Customs, to other U.S. and local activities as well as to Joint Task Force Lebanon. This resulted in a savings of $460,000 by not wasting the cases of MREs, said Mr. Butler. 

"It's events like these that make it all worthwhile," he added. "Knowing that reusing or redistributing surplus is making a difference and not being wasted is nice.
Whether in Turkey or dozens of other military bases to include bases supporting OIF and OEF, the DRMOs serve the War Fighters' interest and ultimately are a value added portion of the supply chain."