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News | June 9, 2021

Employees of the Month make sure warfighters are well equipped

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Not much gets past the two men who are being honored with the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Employee of the Month award for March. Customer Support Specialists Bridger Nelson and Stewart Young are eagle-eyed professionals who use their initiative and ingenuity to keep needed parts coming for the benefit of the warfighter’s mission.

Working in DLA Aviation at Ogden’s Customer Operations Directorate’s Aircraft Material Management Branch at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, Nelson successfully reviewed more than 450 unique national stock numbers for 54 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in various stages of depot maintenance in the month of March alone.

Nelson was selected in the general schedule (GS) 1-9 category. He was nominated for the EOM honor by his branch chief, David Spargur, who said, “Bridger is a superstar in the busiest and most demanding branch at Ogden. While 93% of the NSNs [in March] were green, Bridger was laser-focused on the 36 that failed to fill.”

Spargur said Nelson worked resolution checklists to mitigate 101 backorders valued at over $170,000, ensuring no stone was left unturned to fill orders that supported maintenance personnel and, ultimately, the warfighter.

“Our job is to support the warfighter because they support us in defending our freedom,” said Nelson. “A one-day delay could be the cost of someone else’s freedom, or life.”

Spargur said one particularly noteworthy accomplishment was Nelson’s ability to fill backorders and stock material to cover an 11-month contract gap. His achievement prevented future work stoppages and saved the Air Force a $14,000 daily dock fee for idle aircraft.

Nelson does more than respond to supply chain problems, though. He also sees opportunities to improve operations and takes the initiative to implement processes that will help prevent such issues in the future.

“Bridger took the initiative to conduct warehouse site inspections to resolve several condition code ‘K’, or returned assets. These assets were then placed in ‘A’ condition [in serviceable condition] and released to backorders,” Spargur said.

“Initiative matters so we can keep things moving to support the warfighter, without initiative nothing would get done,” said Nelson.

Young was recognized in the GS 10-13 category. If there's an unfulfilled order floating in the wind, Young will probably catch it. And when he does, he'll go to great links to resolve it and get needed materials to their intended locations as soon as possible.

This tenacity—as well as Young’s ability to collaborate on solutions to high-priority, aged requisitions and unfilled orders—is what earned him the March Employee of the Month award honor.

“Stewart has been critical to the DLA Aviation at Cherry Point team supporting Fleet Readiness Center East and its overall mission, said nominator Clyde Shaeffer, an inventory management supervisor in the Customer Operations Directorate of DLA Aviation at Cherry Point, North Carolina.

As a customer support specialist lead, Young leads a team of four in researching a weekly average of 150 current high-priority, aged requisitions and other unfilled orders for all components, industrial processes and associated customer shops—while simultaneously leading his group through their daily duties.

“He personally tackles 35 to 40 NIINs, or national item identification numbers, a week himself,” Shaeffer said. “The most challenging part of working the dated backorders is trying to fill them in a timely manner and support the warfighter to the best of our ability utilizing the proper sequence to fill the orders without compromising the timeline and causing a work stoppage in the repairs at Fleet Readiness Center East,” said Young.

FRCE averages over 200,000 requisitions a year with a value of over $294 million, Shaeffer explained. Stewart and his team are responsible for chasing down the “worst of the worst” NIINs affecting FRCE production.  

In March, a consumable NIIN reached critical need level to the point of being communicated to DLA Aviation Deputy Commander Charlie Lilli and the heads of the Supplier Operations Commodities and Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorates. 

“Thinking outside the box, Stewart spearheaded the high visibility, organic manufacture emergency buy request for 10 straight shafts valued at $140,000, which was submitted to FRC Southeast (FRCSE) on behalf of FRCE due to the need for specialized tooling, machinery and size,” Shaeffer said.

Young worked with the planning division to ensure an additional gap buy of four units was included [with the emergency buy] to support FRCE planned workload until vendor contracts were recovered.

“Stewart collaborates with key contacts throughout FRCE and DLA. He works diligently to expedite contract delivery dates/awards, and he ensures statuses are accurate with valid data in multiple DLA spreadsheets and databases,” Shaeffer said. “His meticulous efforts resulted in ensuring continued depot maintenance for the CH-53 [Sea Stallion] components and multiple critical end-items to support FRCE and the warfighter.”

About DLA Aviation Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month is awarded to DLA Aviation non-supervisory civilian employees. Two recipients are selected based on individual general schedule pay levels – one from GS 1-9 (Category 1) and one from GS 10-13 (Category 2). Recipients receive a coin, a certificate of achievement from the DLA Aviation deputy commander and a cash award.