News | May 23, 2018

Energy Employees of the Quarter

DLA Energy Public Affairs

Two Defense Logistics Agency Energy employees have the honor of Employee of the Quarter for their performances during the second quarter of fiscal year 2018.

Sarah Covarrubias from DLA Energy Okinawa, Japan earned the WG/WL/GS 7-12 category and Kenneth Murphy from DLA Energy Plans and Operations earned distinction in the GS 13-15 category after a nomination board convened in April.

“Sarah was nominated because she set herself out among her peers,” said DLA Energy Okinawa Petroleum Operations Deputy Chief Chris Zavislak. “Her willingness to support all areas of DLA Energy Okinawa definitely sets her apart.”

Covarrubias distinguished herself while executing her duties as a fuels distribution system operator working on the White Beach terminal team that is solely responsible for the coordination of bunker and berthing operations between the Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, Military Sealift Command and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces.

She coordinated and executed 35 vessel-fueling operations, energizing the 7th Fleet Naval Operations with more than 380,000 gallons of maritime diesel fuel ensuring the continued security of 48 million square miles of sea. Additionally, Covarrubias offloaded a DLA resupply tanker of more than 1.2 million gallons of F-76 fuel, sustaining the U.S. Pacific Command logistical maritime fuel supply.

Through innovative improvements, Covarrubias rewrote terminal standard operating procedures. Her efforts resolved a nearly five-year deficiency for pier-side operations. After revising the procedures, she trained the terminal team to better support DLA Energy Okinawa’s customers.

“Her actions as a first responder during an Army vessel fuel release minimized the environmental impact and ensured the safety of personnel and equipment,” Zavislak said.

Covarrubias spearheaded the first-ever DLA Energy Okinawa volunteer beach beautification project that benefitted the Navy’s 2018 White Beach Festival.

The two-day event helped to enhance the relationships between DLA Energy Okinawa, the host nation and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, Zavislak said.

As one of four qualified loadmasters in Okinawa, Covarrubias participated in a new joint emergency evacuation training while offloading a tanker vessel. The exercise provided an invaluable experience for first responders and improved future joint emergency responses.

“Sarah is a great example of the consummate team-player,” Zavislak said.

Also making an impact in the Pacific Region, Murphy’s performance in the second quarter caught the attention of DLA Energy Plans and Operations Chief Stephen Grace.

“He is recognized within DLA Energy, the enterprise and among our customers and partners as a professional, outstanding performer and valuable asset to any team,” Grace said.

Murphy demonstrated superior performances as the DLA Energy lead Pacific Command planner contributing to the fuel posture in the Korean Theater of Operations and development of fuels support strategies for the Air Force and Navy.

He led a multi-service, multiple combatant command team to analyze warfighter requirements against logistics sustainment concepts for the Korean Family of Plans and then matched DLA’s enterprise capabilities to each component’s requirements. His leadership resulted in a sustainment plan identifying the fuel delivery schedule required for planned operations that enabled the Military Sealift Command to conduct its own supportability analysis.

Murphy’s expertise was critical to delivering a first-ever additive concept of support for the Pacific Command Theater. He collaborated with DLA Aviation, DLA Distribution and military service representatives to configure the first service-level deployable fuels additives kits as part of DLA Energy’s initial development of a global fuels additive support initiative.

“Ken is widely known as a top fuels planning professional,” Grace said. “He’s constantly sought after for his leadership and expertise.”

The Air Force specifically requested his support for their first sustainment rehearsal drill hosted by the 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. He also fostered the Air Force’s Class III Bulk fuel operations from Phase 0 to Phase 5 of the plan, assessing 14 critical locations.

DLA Energy leadership selected Murphy to brief the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness Honorable Robert McMahon on a 19-point synopsis to the most senior logisticians in the Department of Defense.

“He is a great motivator,” Grace said. “He demonstrates the talent to look for integrated solutions across the globe that are sustainable.”

DLA Energy Acting Commander Guy Beougher announced the Employees of the Quarter in an email to the workforce and offered his sincere thanks and appreciation for their dedication in ensuring the warfighter receives the support they deserve.