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News | Aug. 9, 2017

DLA director returns to DSCR for DLA Aviation overview

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams returned to Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, July 31 to receive a DLA Aviation overview.

Before diving into the business of aviation, Williams took the opportunity to present awards to two employees.

Williams said award presentations are the hallmark of a great organization that recognizes its people.

“Never forget how special it is to get recognized for what you do,” Williams told awardees and others in the conference room.

Lacey Carpenter, lead demand supply chain analyst, and Kelly Vaughn, lead business process analyst, both from Business Process Support Directorate, DLA Aviation, each received the DLA Superior Civilian Service Award.   

Among Carpenter’s many accomplishments, she was recognized for creating the comprehensive Retail Production Governance chart and creating the Fill Rate and Actionable Unfilled Order Flowcharts that are used today to drive down local stock-out situations and resolve work-stoppages to Navy production lines. 

Vaughn was recognized as the civilian project lead for a joint provisioning pilot with the Fleet Readiness Centers that will significantly improve the current process. He was also recognized for identifying the need to streamline and improve operations across functional DLA Enterprise Business Systems process areas post-inventory management stock positioning deployment and for working with DLA Aviation industrial support activity commanders to identify the top five areas where systems, policy and procedural changes were needed in terms of scope and value. 

Williams introduced DLA’s new senior enlisted service member, Navy Command Master Chief Shaun Brahmsteadt, highlighting the fact that Brahmsteadt is the first Navy service member to serve as DLA’s senior enlisted member. 

After presentations and introductions, DLA Aviation senior leaders and support staff spoke with Williams about the activity’s workforce development initiatives, provided mission updates, covered “hot topics” for the activity and discussed current and future strategic contracting actions.

Staff discussed the different types of staffing at various DLA Aviation locations, as well as potential for increased Army retail business.

Williams learned more about DLA Aviation deployees, logistics career broadeners, DLA Aviation’s compliance status with Defense Acquisitions Workforce Improvement Act certification for acquisition career fields and the activity’s mentoring program.

Charlie Lilli, DLA Aviation deputy commander, spoke with Williams about the activity’s mentoring program goal to grow future leaders locally and said that it has been well received within the workforce and has even garnered the interest of other agencies.  

Williams said he was very glad to see DLA Aviation had a mentoring program and stressed his belief in the importance of succession planning.

“One word of caution I would share is to be sure in future years to keep the program to its original purpose - to grow leaders for DLA and DLA Aviation.  Stay focused on that purpose,” said Williams.

After reviewing DLA Aviation’s 2016 Denison Culture Survey results, Williams said, “Culture improves when employees feel valued and included in the flow of information. It sounds like DLA Aviation is doing all the right things.”

Air Force Col. John Waggoner, director, DLA Aviation Customer Operations, and his staff provided updates on support, initiatives and challenges associated with maintaining aviation weapon systems for each of military services, the volume of business with each and the current status of overall material availability based on agreed upon metrics. 

Discussion went back and forth, with Williams sharing intelligence from his senior perspective and interactions with other senior military leaders and Customer Operations staff sharing intelligence from their interaction with the industrial sites and operational units.

Lilli said he was thrilled with DLA Aviation’s ability to track Army stock down to the unit level during the last year.  Williams took note of the Marine Corps commitment to help improve support by placing additional billets within the Customer Operations Directorate in Richmond.

The group went on to discuss the effect of raising metrics, stock levels, ordering the right parts, and risks associated with those actions.  During the discussion, Williams kept returning to the theme to ensure that everything DLA Aviation does can be tracked back to its effect on readiness.

Williams shared a term he had heard recently about shape-shifting organizations during discussions on DLA Aviation’s supply chain execution and strategy.  He said, “We want to look across the enterprise, into the future, 10 years or so from now.   What do we need to invest in, divest ourselves of or change?”

Paul Hughes, deputy director, Customer Operations, shared that DLA Aviation is already embracing the idea of a shape-shifting organization with its mapping operations. 

Hughes said a couple years ago, mapping operations moved to a more print-on-demand business model and also moved closer to the customer, most recently in opening a new forward-positioned map facility at Fort Bragg, North, Carolina.

Working through lunch, the group finished the session with discussions about different aviation ‘hot topics” to include Air Force aircraft availability, the F/A-18 E/F readiness recovery plan, Army supportability, small business goals, optimizing planning and increasing automated performance awards and strategic contracting initiatives with General Electric, Air Force Integrated Product-Support Vendor Generation III contract, the KC-46 Tanker and other future systems.

In closing, Williams thanked everyone, saying the visit was very educational.

“For what I expected coming here today, this was perfect,” he said. “I have heard nothing but compliments on the support you provide. Thank you.”