Herndon takes command of DLA CENTCOM & SOCOM in ceremony

By Elizabeth Stoeckmann

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Defense Logistics Agency Central Command and Special Operations Command bade farewell to Army Col. Derrin Williams during a July 7 change-of-command ceremony at CENTCOM headquarters, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Williams departed after three years in command, to serve as the DLA Logistics Operations executive officer at the McNamara Headquarters Complex, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Army Col. Archie Herndon took command of DLA CENTCOM & SOCOM after serving in the U.S. Army War College Fellows Program at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

“I look forward to leading this team in collaboration with the members of the CENTCOM J4 to ensure our warfighters continue to receive first-class support,” Herndon said.

Navy Rear Adm. Vincent Griffith, director of logistics operations for DLA, presided over the ceremony. He presented Williams the Defense Superior Service Medal for his outstanding accomplishments.

“There’s been plenty of change here over the past three years,” Griffith told the audience. “When Col. Williams took charge, you were DLA Central. Now your responsibilities have expanded with the addition of SOCOM to the customers we support. You’re now involved in worldwide operations that are critical to the trans-regional, counterterrorist fight.”

This team is now the single point of contact for the CENTCOM and SOCOM commanders and their staffs as a result of DLA’s Command and Control initiative, he said. The C2 initiative also brought DLA CENTCOM & SOCOM its first-ever Joint Logistics Operations Center, allowing better linkages to the agency and customers.

Griffith offered Herndon a few words of confidence and wisdom as he took command.

“Col. Herndon served with our warfighters at the tip of the spear, and he knows the challenges they face, as well as what they need to accomplish their missions,” he said. “I’m certain this organization and its customers are in good hands,” he said

Herndon is no stranger to the CENTCOM area of operations. He has served four Iraq deployments including to Forward Operating Base Dogwood, Balad Air Base, Camp Taji and Mosul. He has held staff and leadership positions from company commander to executive officer.

Herndon recognized his wife, who attended with their three-week-old son. He also thanked attendees and a distinguished guest, Army Maj. Gen. Edward Dorman, director of CENTCOM Logistics and Engineering, for making time for the ceremony.

“It was obvious upon my arrival to DLA CENTCOM & SOCOM that our team consists of true professionals that understand what is at stake,” Herndon said.