News | July 6, 2017

DLA director hosts DLA Aviation change of command

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, employees filled the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center to capacity June 28 during the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Change of Command ceremony to bid farewell to Air Force Brig. Gen. Allan Day and welcome Air Force Brig. Gen. Linda Hurry as the next commander.

DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams and his wife, Myra, traveled from DLA Headquarters, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to preside over the ceremony and meet the DLA Aviation workforce. Williams assumed command of DLA June 16.

Williams began his remarks by saying he was delighted to be at DLA Aviation.

“What a great organization [DLA Aviation] is,” he said. “I can honestly say that having had a relationship with DLA Aviation before [as the commander of] DLA Land and Maritime … and I always marvel at the wonderful work that gets done here and the readiness that you provide to all of the services.  No one in the Department of Defense does it better than DLA Aviation.”

Williams congratulated employees on the center’s 75th anniversary of its establishment as the Richmond General Depot on Jan. 1, 1942. 

He went on to say what a great day it was for the agency and for these two outstanding general officers and their families.

Williams presented Day the Defense Superior Service Medal for his exceptional service as commander of DLA Aviation March 2015 – July 2017, and provided his wife, Barbara Day, a certificate of appreciation for her support during her husband’s command.

Williams also welcomed Hurry and her children. 

“I’m sure Brig. Gens. Day and Hurry would tell you they would not be here today were it not for the support of their families,” he said.  He said in a military family, everybody serves and sacrifices equally on behalf of our nation.

In addressing the DLA Aviation workforce, Williams said that in his short time on the job, several of the three-star general officers of the military services have told him how much they appreciate DLA’s support.

“On behalf of the troops who fly or maintain our nation’s aircraft, thank you for your commitment to absolute excellence,” he said.

Williams went on to talk about the DLA Aviation culture and leadership under Day that led to a phenomenal success in 2016.  

“It is obvious that Brig. Gen. Day is focused on his people and what motivates them because the command’s sterling results speak for themselves,” he said.

In closing, Williams said he likes to present leaders of Day’s caliber with a personal copy of our Constitution.

“So many of us, throughout our careers, have raised our hands and sworn an oath to protect and defend this document; yet, few of us have our own copy,” said Williams.

Williams transitioned to welcoming Hurry to command of DLA Aviation saying he was confident the organization would remain in good hands and continue the great initiatives started by Day. 

“Brig. Gen. Hurry is a focused leader and a warfighter’s logistician which is the highest compliment anyone can be paid,” Williams said. “DLA could not have picked a better leader to take the reins.”

Day took the podium next and began his remarks by thanking Williams, saying, “that [your recognition of my family] was amazing.”

“The heart you put into honoring my family meant a lot,” he told Williams. Day said to the audience, “He [Williams] is a man with a lot of heart and you can see that.”

Day continued thanking his close support staff, senior leaders, directors and those who provide matrix support to DLA Aviation, community and strategic partners and his family.

“No commander commands alone, it’s a team effort, he said. ‘I’m a better leader today because of you guys helping me. You have often heard me say that as leaders, we can affect people, processes and/or resources. Those three words are the foundation of our leadership model.   We have accomplished big things in the last two years by focusing on culture and celebrating our people, carefully managing our resources to ensure mission success and refining and improving our processes to make the best use of the efforts and time of our people.”

Day told the workforce warfighter support has improved through the combined efforts of our forward and Richmond-based workforce. 

“We cannot stop the readiness blood flow to our warfighters,” Day said.  “We need to make sure that [parts] keep flowing and through the team is how we make sure they do.”

“Our fiscal year 2016 crown jewel materiel [top 5,000 most active DLA Aviation items] availablility climbed to 95 percent. It’s not 100 percent, but we made improvements.  Linda you get the last five percent,” Day said looking at Hurry.  “I know you and know you will be a great leader.  The time will fly and I urge you to commit to enjoying the ride. It’s going to be great!”

In closing Day urged employees to continue to be passionate about our ‘why,’ always remembering our warfighters.  “They are us and a part of us.  They deserve our very best support every day!”

Hurry brought the ceremony to a close with her remarks thanking Williams for the opportunity to join DLA and lead such a fine group of logistics professionals.  She also thanked everyone on center for the warm reception she and her family received. She said she and her children are thrilled to be coming back to Virginia and it feels like a homecoming.

“To this group of extremely talented logisticians, I only ask a couple of things,” said Hurry. “First and foremost is teamwork. You see, I believe logistics is a team sport and we can’t do any of this by ourselves.  Second, we are going to focus on maintaining a culture of dignity and respect, innovation and above all, execution.  To do this, I will ask that we use common sense, do what is right for the Department of Defense and above all, make things better than we found them.”

Hurry said she looks forward to getting to know the workforce and that together we will supply air power to all services.