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Defence Logistics Organisation

Defence Logistics Organisation

The Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO), a key element of the UK Ministry of Defence, is responsible for supporting the armed forces throughout the various stages of an operation or exercise; from training, deployment, in-theatre training and conduct of operations, through to recovery and recuperation ready for redeployment.

Led by the Chief of Defence Logistics, currently a Four Star Army General, the DLO maintains and upgrades military equipment and coordinates its storage and distribution. It has an annual spend of almost £9billion, representing over 20 per cent of the Defence budget. The DLO employs around 20,000 staff at 80 locations throughout the UK and overseas, and has its headquarters in Bath, England

Mission and Vision
The Mission states what people in the DLO are here to do:
'to Deliver Logistics for Operations'
Supporting the front line throughout the preparation, deployment, sustainment and recovery of an operation to deliver mission success. Being agile and responsive to changing needs in peace and conflict. Developing logistic capabilities to meet future demands.

CDL's Vision is to deliver our Mission so that we build:
'Confidence in Logistics'

So that:
  • The front line is confident that we will deliver what they need, where they need it, when they need it. People in the DLO are confident about their contribution to the success of operations.
  • The Equipment Capability Customer and the Defence Procurement Agency have confidence in our advice to optimise through life support and reduce whole life costs.
  • Industry is confident in its understanding of DLO requirements.
  • MOD 'Head Office' is confident that we deliver good results for defence as a whole.
  • The taxpayer has confidence that we deliver best value for money.

DLO Supporting the Front Line

The UK's armed forces are involved in operations around the world, with the DLO currently supporting the following:

  • Operation Banner - support to Northern Ireland in accordance with the Operational Commitments Plan.
  • Operation Telic - support to coalition forces in Iraq.
  • Operation Herrick - support to the International Stabilisation and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
  • Operation Oculus - support to all UK forces in the Balkans including the Kosovo Force and support to European Union forces in Bosnia (Operation Althea).
  • Operation Tosca - the UK contribution to United Nations peacekeeping forces in Cyprus.

Structure of the DLO

The DLO formed in 2000 from three Service-specific support organisations. We are now a single organisation that delivers logistics to our key customers - the Front Line Commands and Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ).
Key relationships with the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) and industry, working with stakeholders to deliver to the front line, are managed at three levels: Board, Enabling and Delivery. How this is organised is explained below:

The DLO Board

The DLO Board is chaired by the Chief of Defence Logistics. It provides strategic leadership, direction and governance to the DLO and acts as the ultimate decision making body in the DLO. It is supported by the Output Board, Enabling Services Board and Procurement Board.

The DLO Board provides the strategic direction that the DLO needs to take to meet the current challenges and future logistics requirements of our front line customers and stakeholders effectively. The strategy provides a framework that helps people make decisions that align with the overall direction of the DLO.

Delivery Layer

The Delivery Layer is the customer facing element of the DLO; Integrated Project Teams (IPTs), Naval Bases, Depots, and other front line support units. To provide a single point of accountability for all DLO outputs the DLO have assigned Domain two Stars whose role is to externally face our principle customers. They are:

  • Director General Logistics (Fleet)
    Rear Admiral Paul Boissier
  • Land Director General Logistics (Land)
    Major General Tim Tyler 
  • Strike Director General Logistics (Strike)
    Air Vice-Marshal David Rennsion
  • Director General Logistics (Supply Chain)
    Major General Malcolm Wood

IPTs are brigaded into One Star Cluster Groups around customer outputs and products to improve coherence and effectiveness:

DG Log (Fleet)
    Maritime Platform    
    Maritime Equipment
DG (Nuc)
DG Log (Land)
    Rotary Wing
    Combat Service Support
DG Log (Strike)
    1 Group
    2 & 3 Groups
DG Log (Supply Chain)
    Munitions Group

Enabling Layer

The Enabling Layer provides a range of specialist support to IPTs and others within the DLO and the DPA. The nature, structure, process and size of the enabling layer has been defined from the restructuring work which was running throughout 2004. The enabling services are more streamlined than before and have been set up to improve ways of working. They include:

Defence Logistics Transformation.
In his capacity as the logistics process owner for Defence, CDL is delivering a single, pan-Defence programme of logistics transformation activities, which together form the Defence Logistics Transformation Programme (DLTP).

The aim of DLTP is to improve the effectiveness, reduce the costs (efficiency) and improve the flexibility of logistics for operations. Activities include moving to the simplified logistic organisational model of forward support and depth support, the application of 'lean' techniques, partnering with industry and contracting for availability, and making the supply chain more responsive to the real needs of operational commanders.

The Defence Logistics Transformation Board, chaired by CDL, provides pan-defence visibility, direction and management of the programme of logistics transformation.

Supply Chain Support
Its role is to further integrate the previous single Service supply chain support functions to maintain and develop an efficient and effective joint supply chain.


Its role is to provide a single integrated finance team which operates simplified processes and common financial tools, relieving the transaction burden on IPTs and promoting further DLO/DPA joint working.

Infrastructure, Safety and Security
Its role is to develop and deliver DLO's estate and facilities management strategy. It also develops safety and security strategies and provides policy guidance, specialist support and assurance services.


The Secretariat supports the DLO Board and DLO by such activities as; the corporate relationship with Trades Unions; collating and analysing performance information; operating the DLO Balanced Scorecard; scrutinising business cases for the Investment Approvals Board (IAB) and non-IAB projects; supporting the DLO Audit Committee and providing a single business audit programme. Also provides internal and external communications and deals with Parliamentary Business, including the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.

Its role is to provide improved human resources services consistent with the developing requirements of the MOD's Human Resources People Programme and the requirements of the Services Joint Personnel Administration system.


Its role is to provide an integrated and coordinated procurement function that supports IPTs and Basic Level Budgets in their delivery of agreed DLO outputs. It equips the DLO with world-class procurement skills and develops an organisation capable of implementing and sustaining best practice approaches to all procurement activity. It advises the strategic layer on industrial and procurement strategy and processes.

Disposal Services Agency
It provides sole authority for the disposal and sale of surplus MOD equipment. It meets the disposal and sale needs of all IPTs, both in the DLO and DPA, but can be used by all defence customers.

Technical Enabling Services

Its role is to combine DLO technical resources into a single coherent organisation. It provides access to technology, project and safety management, assurance, policy, regulation, advice, guidance and the delivery of specialist programmes.

Logistics Information

Its role is to identify and remedy gaps in defence logistics information capability. It introduces information discipline and derives maximum benefit from Defence information infrastructure (DII) which brings clarity and simplicity to logistics applications and data storage. Reduces the likelihood of failure, delay and waste, by improving programme, project and service management.