In a ceremony steeped in military traditions, the Defense Logistics Agency Energy Americas bid farewell to Army Col. Craig Simonsgaard during a change of command ceremony at the Petroleum Club, Houston, Texas, July 16.
DLA Energy Acting Commander Guy Beougher presided over the ceremony and welcomed the incoming commander, Army Col. Kevin Cotman.
Beougher recognized Simonsgaard for his outstanding accomplishments as commander of a regional area that spans 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency regions, 14 major pipeline distribution systems, seven time zones and more than 400 Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard installations.
“I am honored to preside over today’s ceremony as we celebrate the leadership of Craig and welcome Kevin,” Beougher said. “With respect to these two officers, they don’t come any better. And, as always, DLA Energy Americas has been – and will be – blessed with truly outstanding leadership at the very top.”
DLA Energy Americas supports four combatant commands: Northern Command, Southern Command, Strategic Command and Transportation Command. DLA Energy Americas also collaborates with FEMA and contingency contractors for bulk petroleum support for natural or manmade disasters occurring in the U.S.
During Simonsgaard’s three-year tenure, DLA Energy Americas responded to many natural disasters and an ever-changing operational tempo, including 2017’s three major consecutive hurricanes that called for DLA Energy Americas to pull out all of its expeditionary fuel stops.
“Under (Col.) Simonsgaard's command, the world was truly a different place,” Beougher said. “So many changes and so many factors have tested this agency and DLA Energy Americas in unprecedented ways, and under Craig’s leadership, met every single challenge.”
Beougher welcomed Cotman and his family to the DLA Energy team.
“Kevin comes with a rock-solid reputation, a West Point graduate, commissioned in 1994, and he embodies exactly what we expect from our commanders: trained, educated, and innovative,” he said.
Cotman’s previous assignment was the chief, Plans and Exercise Division, U.S. Forces Korea J4, Yongsan Garrison, Republic of Korea.
“I know you will fit right in with this DLA Energy team as they too are highly trained, highly educated and highly innovative,” Beougher said. “This is the A-team, the Big Leagues, the Varsity.”
Beougher thanked the employees of the DLA Energy Americas team.
“Your hard work, dedication and commitment have immeasurably contributed to the success of this agency, the entire Department of Defense and many sections of the federal government," he said. “I’ve talked a great deal about Craig and his accomplishments, but the truth is, his success is synonymous with your great work and support. The global support you provide daily to our warfighters and other whole of government partners is not just important but indispensable to their success.”