Employees of the Defense Logistics Agency’s Medical and Construction and Equipment directorates won the Coalition for Government Procurement’s Acquisition Excellence Awards for Government, according to the group’s announcement February 26.
DLA Troop Support Medical Directorate’s Strategic Materiel Sourcing Group and C&E’s Meghan Michalski earned the recognition by providing outstanding performance in meeting the mission-critical needs of a federal agency through a government contract, according to the organization’s award criteria.
“We are honored by this recognition,” DLA Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence said. “I am consistently humbled by the hard work and dedication of our employees who strive to provide efficient, effective sustainment and logistics solutions to valued government and industry partners.”
Surge Access to Medical Materiel
The Medical SMSG team was recognized for their support of DLA’s whole of government customers through the Readiness division’s 76 “Warstopper” contracts that provide access to more than 13,000 medical items in total said William Woltjen, Medical Readiness Division integrated support team chief. The team’s contingency contracts guarantee immediate delivery of 5,000 different items, or $285 million of products, he added.
“The team was surprised, humbled and grateful for the recognition of their work,” Woltjen said.
The program was able to achieve fast, immediate availability of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic because of its capability to invest in the domestic industrial base to raise industry’s production capacity during a contingency event, said Carolyn Shivers, industrial specialist and Warstopper program lead for DLA Troop Support.
Warstopper is different from DLA’s standard acquisition programs because it is congressionally funded for investments focused on surge, rather than sustainment, she said.
“It’s meant to support emergency ‘go-to-war’ or contingency response in a national emergency,” Shivers said. “The stuff we know we’re going to need, and need fast.”
What makes the Medical SMSG a stand-out in this program, she said, is the higher level of total program support that proved beneficial throughout the pandemic.
“Medical’s Readiness team is amazing at what they do,” Shivers said. “From the required research prior to any investments we make to the monitoring of industrial bases, investment contracts and materiel availability – they provide the high return on investment we aim for throughout the program.”
Woltjen said the items provided by these contracts are guaranteed to meet required specifications and be accessible at a significant savings to the government with an approximate 13-to-1 return.
“While the program has been around for more than 20 years, the COVID-19 pandemic stressed it like nothing before. It performed extremely well, giving testament to years of continuous improvement on a robust and effective support model,” Woltjen said.
Personal Protective Equipment Access
Meghan Michalski, C&E’s Fire and Marine Division Chief, was recognized for her accomplishments in orchestrating domestic non-availability determinations for personal protective equipment in support of at-risk populations across the country.
Faced with requirements to supply equipment in excess of what stateside industry could support, Michalski quickly orchestrated the request and approval to purchase items that met required specifications of design and performance, but were from foreign sources.
“Meghan is extremely deserving of this honor,” C&E Director of Supplier Operations Tom Page said. “Her selfless determination in supporting the C&E COVID-19 pandemic efforts are truly appreciated.”
By using existing contracting vehicles within C&E as well as the DNADs, Michalski was a lynchpin in the acquisition and logistics behind providing many lifesaving items to whole of government partners and warfighters on the front lines of pandemic support.
“I was so surprised and thankful. It is a huge honor and I am very grateful, but it is truly a team effort,” Michalski said. “I am extremely fortunate to have such an amazing team in the C&E Fire and Marine Division and could not do it without all of their help and support.”