News | Dec. 6, 2019

DLA Energy dominates recognition awards

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Energy employees excelled in the 52nd Annual DLA Employee Recognition Awards earning 13 awards, more than any other DLA military support command or directorate. 

The recognition ceremony to honor teams and individuals for their proactive global logistics was held at the McNamara Headquarters Complex, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Dec. 6.

“I’m very proud of the outstanding work DLA Energy employees are doing to support not only the Warfighter but also the DLA enterprise and our whole of government partners,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Albert Miller. “Each individual performed in an outstanding manner and deserves the recognition for their extraordinary efforts. While these individuals are the ones being recognized, they are part of and represent a larger team of people working day in and day out to execute the DLA Energy mission.”

DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams presided over the ceremony and presented winners with a distinctive crystal memento for their exceptional service during the 2019 calendar year. DLA Energy team members were recognized in the following categories:

TOP 10 EMPLOYEE – CATEGORY A

Air Force Tech Sgt. Lynell McLeod, DLA Energy Americas East Quality Assurance Representative

McLeod provided quality assurance and surveillance throughout Florida and the Caribbean region as a member of the Southeast Quality Team at Tampa, Florida. He personally provided quality oversight on 1,052 tank trucks shipments, 46 pipeline movements, and six marine vessel receipts totaling over 19.9 million gallons of fuel valued in over $56.1 million dollars. In addition, he managed 20 supply or services contracts worth more than $90 million dollars. 

LEADER OF THE YEAR – LEVEL 4

Bruce Blank, DLA Energy Acting Deputy Commander

Blank served as the acting deputy commander twice, providing continuity and oversight during a time of high leadership turnover. He executed the 2019 DLA Energy Worldwide Energy Conference attended by more than 2,000 stakeholders from industry, government, Department of Defense and military. 

LEADER OF THE YEAR – LEVEL 3

Bruce Jones, DLA Energy Middle East Deputy Director 

Jones distinguished himself by guiding 46 civilian and 10 military, geographically-dispersed employees in the management of 76 locations in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM SENTINEL. He served as acting commander resolving a vendor tax issue in Jordan and managed a major recruiting effort with no disruption to the mission. 

EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER – CATEGORY B

Patrick Draper, DLA Energy Middle East Customer Account Specialist 

Draper excelled by developing solutions and completing processes to overcome multiple fuel challenges in Iraq, ranging from import taxation to U.S. Central Command vendor vetting issues. In addition, his efforts to accurately manage fuel orders reduced unliquidated obligations and unfilled customer orders.

TEAM AWARDS – LARGE

Synchronization Operations Center

DLA Energy, among team members Enterprise-wide, helped execute the DLA Director’s vision for a 24/7 joint operations center to better operationalize and integrate the agency’s support to Warfighters and federal partners. 

ACHIEVEMENT IN EEO BY AN ORGANIZATION

DLA Energy Equal Employment Opportunity team

DLA Energy Equal Employment Opportunity team excelled by implementing a proactive prevention strategy reducing complaint activity by more than 60%. The approach, combined with DLA Energy’s Culture Climate Council initiatives, resulted in DLA Energy receiving the highest rated DLA Dennison Survey results. 

FIELD GRADE OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Air Force Maj. Charles Morton, DLA Energy Americas East Operations Officer

Morton is responsible for the day-to-day operations for DLA Energy's largest supply chain consisting of 37 states from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast and Caribbean and Central Americas. He plans and executes operational requirements supporting contingencies and facilitated end of the fiscal year closeout for 840 fuel accounts achieving 100% accountability. 

JOINT RESERVE FORCE FIELD GRADE OFFICER OF THE YEAR    

Army Reserve Lt. Col. Sloane Struse, DLA Energy Liaison Officer in Afghanistan

Struse secured tax exemptions on over 200 million gallons of fuel imports, valued at over $570 million, to support 13 U.S. forces saving over $114 million. He was a key leader in a six month joint process improvement initiative that streamlined and standardized the NATO/U.S. bulk fuel tax exemption process resulting in a 20% paperwork reduction and eliminated processing through the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

JOINT RESERVE FORCE COMPANY GRADE OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Air Force Reserve Capt. Kellen Curry, DLA Energy Ground Fuels Deputy Division Chief 

Curry leveraged his contracting experience to author, vet and verify proposals and terminate redundancies of multimillion dollar contracts throughout the U.S. Central Command region. He improved contractor vetting compliance to prevent illicit behavior and maintain fuel support operations for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

SAFETY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR    

Jun Higa, DLA Energy Okinawa Safety Program Manager

Higa improved the safety of the only DLA-operated Defense Fuel Service Point consisting of 20 tanks storing over 55 million gallons of petroleum product, 75 miles of pipeline, pier side fueling and deep sea mooring systems. He worked to close over 30 violations of the Occupational Safety Administration Act, abate over 190 safety and health hazard violations, inspect 384 facilities, and developed a training plan to resolve gaps resulting in zero operational deficiencies for the 2019 safety inspection.  

EXCELLENCE IN ACQUISITION

Norman Mitchell, DLA Energy Direct Delivery Fuel Inventory Management Specialist

Assigned to a project to develop a standardized requirements validation process, Mitchell designed a Supply Planning Process that improved efficiency and reduced workload. The database forces accountability by tracking the actions and how long it takes to complete those actions as they the flow through the various business unit processes. 

ACQUISITION SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR – INDIVIDUAL

Todd Minke, DLA Energy Okinawa Customer Account Specialist

Supporting customers across Okinawa, Minke accurately validated 748 individual fuel tanks for a direct delivery contract and worked with Army & Air Force Exchange Service to establish a new fueling station on Kadena Air Force Base that provided premium unleaded, a service never previously offered. 

ACQUISITION SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR – TEAM

DLA Energy Jet Fuels Qualification Team

Working across organizational boundaries, Marcus Ortman, Philip Chang, Joseph Dougherty, Scott Marcinkowski, Joshua Catlin, Heather Thomas, Dan Ferry, and Bruce Desoto identified qualified potential suppliers of Thermally Stable Aviation Turbine Fuel. Due to the limited nature and performance properties of the specialty jet fuel, expanding suppliers is important during contingencies and times of natural disasters. The team’s initiative and leadership incentivized competition and increased small business participation. 

Congratulations to all of the award winners and for their dedication to supporting the Warfighter and the DLA Energy mission across the globe.