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News | Jan. 28, 2022

Defense Supply Center Columbus welcomes new site director

By Stefanie Hauck DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

Kristine Freels is the new Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management – Columbus Site Director. Freels replaces Dan Bell who retired in December.

She will be responsible for the management and oversight of Defense Supply Center Columbus, a 550-acre facility servicing more than 9,000 people. She will manage more than 500 personnel covering all facets of installation engineering, security and emergency services, operating equipment, center mail distribution, base supply, graphic arts, photography, installation environment and Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs. She will also provide effective support as a host command to more than 30 tenant organizations through the efficient management of five divisions engaged with an operating budget of more than $50 million.

Freels comes to the installation from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, where she was the director of the 88th Force Support Squadron. There she directed a full range of support programs to include manpower and personnel, child and youth services, total force development, training and morale, welfare and recreation activities and services for 30,000 assigned active duty and civilian personnel, 115 tenant units and a six-state area of responsibility. She led 870 personnel and was responsible for $21 million in gross non-appropriated fund revenue, a $4.2 million appropriated fund operating budget and $18.7 million in tracked assets across 41 activities and 135 facilities.

Before that, Freels was the Chief of Policy for Sustainment Operations with the Services Directorate for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.. Additionally, while at the Pentagon, she worked in direct support of the Force Support Civilian Career Field Manager. There she created, initiated and managed personnel operations, force development, force renewal and communications and analysis programs to recruit, educate, train, develop and retain the Force Support Civilian Career Field which was comprised of 72 occupational codes and 47,000 civilian personnel.

As Force Support Deputy Director, Freels led the bed-down and support of over 34,000 U.S. and Coalition troops along with leading the 39th Air Base Wing’s execution of the U.S. State Department’s ordered departure of all dependents from the Republic of Turkey while assigned to Incirlik Air Base. Her leadership led to numerous awards including the U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s Hennessy Award for excellence in food service, the Major General Eugene L. Eubank Award for best small force support squadron in USAFE and  Air Mobility Command Innkeeper Awards in 2017, 2018 and  2021.

Freels originally hails from Racine, Wisconsin, and began her Air Force career by enlisting as a Spanish linguist. After completing her four-year enlistment, she earned a bachelor and master’s degree using the GI Bill and rejoined the Air Force as a civilian in 1998. She served in a variety of unit and staff positions along with career broadening tours at the Air Force Services Center and the Air Force Personnel Center. She was a member of the 2018 cohort of the Department of Defense’s Executive Leadership Development Program.