Teams and individuals at Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support earned several awards at the 49th Annual DLA Employee Recognition Award Ceremony Dec. 15.
DLA Director Lt. Gen. Andrew Busch presented the awards during the ceremony at DLA Headquarters.
“You are doing fantastic, and it’s great to be able to recognize folks that are here with us today who have done so much to help me be a representative for the great product that we have,” Busch said during the ceremony, according to a DLA story. “I know that perhaps you don’t extrapolate from the news what we do in this agency, but I can tell you that the combatant commands turn to us for solutions every day.”
DLA Troop Support’s award recipients include:
Outstanding DLA Personnel of the Year
Aysu Cesmebasi, DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa Customer Operations team, was one of 10 employees from across the agency selected as Outstanding DLA Personnel of the Year.
As a Subsistence tailored vendor logistics specialist, she supports customers in Djibouti, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. With her past experience as an Army Food Advisor, Cesmebasi relates to her customers and provides maximum support. She analyzes and develops the best value Class I transportation solutions for complex operational requirements to austere environments in coordination with several strategic Department of Defense agencies.
DLA Team Performance Award
The Customer Operations team at DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa earned a DLA Team Performance Award in the small team category.
Team members include: Todd Lutz, Aysu Cesmebasi, James Chase, Mark Ramirez, Jeffrey Lekness and Roberto Santana.
The team manages the customer subsistence prime vendor, operational rations, fresh fruits and vegetables and local market ready items, including bottled water for U.S. military support in the CENTCOM/AFRICOM areas of responsibility and EUCOM for exercise support for a customer base of 290,000 totaling $809 million in sales annually.
DLA Company Grade Officer of the Year
Navy Lt. Anthony Meyer, a contract specialist with the Subsistence supply chain, was named DLA’s Company Grade Officer of the Year.
He served as the lead contract specialist for the Iraq/Kuwait/Jordan, and Afghanistan Subsistence prime vendor contracts. He is also the team lead for the fair and reasonable pricing team for all Subsistence prime vendors located outside the continental U.S., covering 20 areas of operation.
DLA Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year
Army Master Sgt. Cynthia Gyening is DLA’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for 2016. Her numerous roles at DLA Troop Support include joint senior enlisted advisor, principal logistical staff NCO, and Clothing and Textiles customer account specialist.
She is responsible for the onsite monitoring of 25 mandatory semi-annual physical inventories of all stock totaling $1.4 billion and has conducted over 50 mandatory audit readiness site visits. She oversaw the transition of the Army’s new Operational Combat Pattern uniform to four Army recruit training centers. She also deployed to Kuwait as the senior enlisted advisor and warfighter support representative at DLA DST-Kuwait.
DLA Leader of the Year
Kaushal Desai was named one of four DLA Leaders of the Year. He is a branch chief in Subsistence for individual rations and audit readiness. He also maintained his duties as a supply planner for group rations.
He serves as the supply chain’s audit readiness subject matter expert. With an understanding of the growing importance of audit readiness, Kaushal developed a training plan for his team of resolution specialists, including recruiting additional personnel, working with the Process Compliance Office to develop training and even hosting Subsistence’s first quality notification training. He also oversaw the individual rations team with an inventory of more than $450 million worth of MREs and annual sales of more than $250 million.
Excellence in Pre-Award Contracting
The Subsistence National Contracts team earned a DLA Acquisition Excellence award for pre-award contracting.
Team members include: Tim Dlugokecki, Sonny Cosmas, Zoraya Wilson, Gordon Peterson, Anthony Brown, Robin Novak and Matt Conville.
The team implemented an innovative strategy which streamlines the purchases of center-of-the-plate protein items - chicken, beef, turkey, pork and seafood - for OCONUS military customers. By mirroring industry best practices, and going “directly to the source” to maximize savings, the National Contracts team averaged cost savings of 25 percent, by reducing duplication and leveraging the purchasing power of the government. Additionally, the national contracts implemented have resulted in improved consistency and increased availability of product to the customer. Across all of the protein categories, annual savings to the taxpayer are estimated at $42 million.