FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
Strategic planning and contingency preparation were themes of Defense Logistics Agency Energy’s “Energy Week” at the McNamara Headquarters Complex May 15-19.
Incoming and outgoing military commanders and civilian senior leaders came together in person for working group sessions and classified briefings to leverage strengths and opportunities and navigate anticipated challenges.
“We’re the smallest DLA major subordinate command, and yet we’re global,” DLA Energy Deputy Commander David Kless said. “We have a busy week ahead, and you’ll get a good taste of what goes on in DLA Energy around the world. There is never a slow day, but it really is fun. Don’t lose that perspective.”
The first part of the week was the DLA Energy Pre-Command Orientation and end of the week was a Senior Leader Strategic Offsite.
The Pre-Command Orientation was an opportunity for incoming military commanders located worldwide to learn more about the DLA Energy mission and to meet the DLA Energy teams who support them. DLA Energy Americas is in Houston, Texas; DLA Energy Europe & Africa in Kaiserslautern, Germany; DLA Energy Middle East in Manama, Bahrain; DLA Energy East Pacific on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; DLA Energy Japan on Yokota Air Base in Fussa; DLA Energy Korea at Camp Walker, Daegu; DLA Energy Okinawa on the Chibana compound, adjacent to Kadena Air Base; and DLA Energy South-West Pacific in Guam.
“It’s important to invest in our incoming commanders because you are the ones out there in the field,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas. “This is an unprecedented time in an increasingly complex global environment. We must plan and prepare for the challenges around the world.”
From the DLA Energy Headquarters business units supporting bulk fuel and utility services contracts to the military service petroleum offices and human resources teams, incoming military commanders learned about people available to assist them.
Navy Cmdr. Scott McCarthy will assume command of DLA Energy South-West Pacific in June.
“The development of interpersonal relationships is the most valuable part of in-person meetings like this,” he said. “It’s good to get all the stakeholders together to hear from each other, to put faces with names and freshen up on information we haven’t seen before, or haven’t seen in a while.”
Army Lt. Col. Leslie Shipp will assume command of DLA Energy Europe & Africa May 22. She brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous assignment at U.S. Army Europe and Africa Inspector General Office in Wiesbaden, Germany.
“This time here at headquarters is important for me,” she said. “It is a great opportunity to learn what DLA Energy does, interact with my peers and network with all those here who will support me and the entire Europe & Africa team.”
McCarthy and Shipp join four other incoming commanders: Army Lt. Col. Jamie Pittman will lead the Middle East office; Navy Cmdr. Konrad Krupa, East Pacific office; Air Force Maj. Kevin Knutson, Okinawa; Air Force Maj. Daniel Moritz, Americas North; and Army Lt. Col. Thaddeus Douthitt, Americas East.
At the end of Energy Week, the Senior Leader Strategic Offsite brought more than 60 leaders together to plan and discuss current challenges. Members included DLA Energy’s worldwide regional offices, bulk petroleum, utility services, installation energy, facility sustainment, quality assurance, business and procurement support, finance, legal and more.
“We have to be ready for whatever the future holds,” Canlas said. “Take off the blinders of your everyday responsibilities to open the aperture and give a 360-degree view around the world. We need to know what our true north is, and that is what I hope to get to in the next few days.”
Kless reminded the leaders that things don’t have to be broken to make them better.
“I won’t step off the accelerator. I will continue to challenge you,” he said. “Take off your badges because everyone has an equal voice. We are going to have hard conversations. If we don’t, we can’t get to where we need to be. We owe it to each other; we owe it to our teams; we owe it to the warfighter and all our customers.”
Several takeaways and action items were identified for follow up and evaluation.