The Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) gets a new Chief of Defence Logistics (CDL) today with the arrival of Air Chief Marshal Sir Malcolm Pledger.
Air Chief Marshal Pledger, who began his career as a Search & Rescue helicopter pilot before rising to become the last incumbent of the Air Member for Logistics post and, most recently, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel), takes over command of the Bath based DLO from General Sir Sam Cowan, who is retiring after four years in post.
The Air Chief Marshal, a father of two, has considerable experience in military logistics and is keen to take on the challenge of managing the DLO. The DLO is the largest single organisation within the MOD with a total operating budget of £8.7 Billion and a workforce of over 30,000.
Air Chief Marshal Pledger said: "The first thing I would like to do as the new CDL is pay tribute to my predecessor, General Sam Cowan. He and his team have done a tremendous job in forming the DLO, laying the groundwork for a more efficient and effective logistic support structure across defence, and delivering significant savings in support costs- he will certainly be a hard act to follow. It now falls to me to build on his successes and continue the task of further improving the quality of the logistic support that we provide to the front-line, and exploiting the opportunities for economy that a unified logistics structure presents. Only by making logistic more cost effective can we ensure that our resources are focussed where they should be on our forces in the front line."
General Cowan said: "Since its formation the DLO has made very substantial progress in improving the cost-effectiveness of our logistics process. We have delivered impressive savings amounting to some £600 million so far none of which would have been possible without all the people in the DLO who have worked so hard to make it happen. There is still a big job to do but I will be leaving the DLO in the very capable hands of my successor who has a wonderfully talented team to support him in his task."
General Cowan, who is Colonel Commandant of the Brigade of Gurkhas and Chairman of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, intends spending the start of his retirement travelling through the hills of Nepal.
Air Chief Marshal Pledger will be only the second person to hold the post General Sir Sam Cowan became the first in April 2000 when he formed the DLO out of the three previously separate single service logistical supply organisations.
The DLO is the largest single organisation within the Ministry of Defence. With 88 major sites across the country, it is responsible for the maintenance and support of all the UKs defence equipment from ships and sandbags to tanks and tents.