World

DSS has logisticians around the world-Meet two who are going above and beyond in Africa – United States Department of State

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Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) personnel can attest to the fact that hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of security equipment accumulate in embassies and consulates overseas. Any item valued at over $500 is considered an asset and needs to be inventoried. As DSS and the office of security technology continues to complete security upgrades, the number of assets continues to increase and become more difficult to track.

At the onset of each fiscal year, DSS begins the task of accounting for its technical security assets during the annual inventory. The heroes of inventory season are the 45 DSS logisticians in engineering security centers and offices around the world. Armed with barcode scanners, they scan cameras, security equipment installed at the embassy, screening equipment at guard booths, and spare parts in storerooms.

Who are DSS logisticians? At engineering security centers and offices, they are typically family members of foreign service personnel and are knowledgeable about supply chain management, operations, and logistics. They provide year-round support with ordering, shipping, and receiving materials for technical security repairs, maintenance, or disposal. They assist with routing work orders and manage the storage and inventories of spare parts and systems. Whenever systems are repaired or replaced, they contribute to the record keeping and property management. There are countless logisticians working across the organization both domestically and overseas.

With embassies and consulates in over 270 locations, DSS logisticians often utilize strategic planning and proactive thinking to ensure the correct parts are available even in the most remote places. Parts can take months to arrive and, if logisticians have not done their jobs properly, this could mean that a system, tool, or device is out of commission for just as long.

Both seasoned and new logisticians alike find the work challenging but rewarding, especially due to the complexity and scale of the work. DSS Logistician Abdoulaye has been in this position for seven years. His wife works for the United States Agency for International Development and being a logistician for DSS allows him the flexibility to follow her wherever she is assigned. Together, they have worked in Manila, Dakar, and Pretoria.

“I like discovering new places and helping to make the embassies safer,” Abdoulaye says about his work as a logistician with DSS. During this year alone, he conducted inventories in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, Windhoek, Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Maputo, and Gaborone accounting for more than 3,000 DSS assets valued at over $8 million dollars.

In contrast, DSS Logistician Megan just finished her first annual inventory and already loves the job. She is currently working in Dar es Salaam and completed inventories there as well as in Lilongwe and Harare. Throughout this process, she accounted for more than 800 assets, ensuring everything was where it needed to be to help those keeping the embassies and consulates safe.

The engineering security office (ESO) in Dar es Salaam achieved 100% accountability of all assets, making Megan and her team literally perfect at their jobs.

“My favorite part of working with the ESO is the sense of community and transfer of knowledge across missions. The Dar es Salaam ESO team is a fun and welcoming group of experts who are all passionate about their work,” said Megan.

LOG Diallo
ESO Dar

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