Describing itself as the force behind the armed forces in the UK, Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) is responsible for sourcing and delivering equipment for the Army, Navy and Air Force. That’s everything from boots on feet to helicopters on aircraft carriers and tracks on tanks. It’s a £10bn (US$12bn) a year operation handled by a combination of military personnel, civil servants and contractors, and a highly specialised part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
Supporting military activity procuring everything from food to fighter jets is a logistical challenge at the best of times – made monumental during times of war in Europe.
Roger West is the Logistics and Support Director at DE&S and even though he has 40 years of experience to draw on, it’s fair to say these are unprecedented times – when supply chain resilience is paramount.
“We've been tested in recent years by COVID-19, by Evergiven, now by Ukraine. We are giving considerable thought to how we need to re-calibrate our supply chains to give us the resilience that we need because we can't afford to go out half-cocked into a demanding environment where people's lives are at risk.”