DLA Aviation and Commander Fleet Readiness Centers employees volunteer for six-month developmental rotation

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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After a year in the planning stage, two employees from Defense Logistics Agency Aviation and Commander Fleet Readiness Centers began a six-month developmental rotation this past April.

While similar to other developmental programs with the military services and within DLA, this non-supervisory rotation is the first between DLA and Commander Fleet Readiness Centers. Yvette Bose, sustainment lead, Commander Fleet Readiness Centers; Linster Dillahunt, COMFRC national components lead; and Paul Hughes, deputy director, Customer Operations Directorate, DLA Aviation, started brainstorming the possibility back in 2018.

According to Nancy Calvao, DLA Aviation’s retail industrial program manager in Customer Operation’s Fusion Operations Division, the goals of the program are for COMFRC employees to learn more about procurement processes from “cradle-to-grave” and Aviation employees to be exposed to depot component planning and production.

Bose said she initially approached Chris Davis, director, Strategic Acquisition Programs, DLA Aviation, about the potential for establishing these rotations and was thrilled this opportunity came to fruition for these outstanding individuals.

“There is such value in understanding the processes and perspectives of our critical partners, particularly as we strive to improve aviation readiness,” she said. “Our next goal is to establish an enduring program so future employees can gain this unique professional experience.”

John Horton, a sustainment specialist with DLA Aviation - Cherry Point, North Carolina, and Justin Wills, a logistics management specialist/analyst at Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, were chosen from employees who responded to a general interest announcement.

Horton has worked with DLA for the last five years, starting as a purchasing agent.

“I volunteered for the position to gain experience outside of DLA Aviation,” Horton said. “I aspire to one day become a DLA leader and wanted to gain on-hand knowledge of how DLA’s mission fits into the whole picture of suppling the fleet and supporting the warfighter.”

Through the rotation, some of the areas Horton will participate in are COMFRC special projects and technical logistical assignments addressing consumable material delay concerns. He will provide enhanced supply training on consumable national inventory item numbers managed by DLA and assist Navy supply analysts with access to procurement contracts for requisitioned material within the DLA Enterprise Business Systems.

Wills, as the COMFRC careerist assigned to this first rotation, will also be exposed to special projects and technical logistical assignments within DLA Aviation, DLA Distribution, DLA Troop Support and DLA Land and Maritime to gain experience in DLA’s core process flows and the importance of customer collaboration to improve demand and supply chain operations.

Wills will gain exposure to the full spectrum of DLA major subordinate command operations, DLA weapon systems program managers and customer account specialist duties and responsibilities. He will also have the opportunity to refine high-level action officer and project management skills, and learn methods for researching and resolving a variety of conventional and unusual logistics-related problems.

Wills who began work with COMFRC this past may said he is new to the team and has gained a wealth of knowledge within a very short period of time.

He said COMFRC was originally looking for a [general schedule]-13 employee to rotate, but his supervisor knew the experience would benefit employees at lower-level grades and ask if he would be interested.

“I told him I would love to take on the opportunity and understand [more about] DLA Aviation,” said Wills. “This rotation will allow me to gain significant knowledge about DLA processes and challenges which would allow me to articulate that information back at COMFRC. I will also be able to build personal relationships with DLA employees so that we can work together as a team and help the warfighter complete the mission at hand. I plan on being with COMFRC for the long haul, helping to solve any challenge that comes our way.”