DLA Distribution Europe marks leadership change with ceremony

By Diana Dawa, DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Europe leadership changed from Army Lt. Col. Jon Ackiss to Army Lt. Col. Katarina “Katie” Dlugosz during a change of command ceremony held June 25. Army Col. Krista Hoffman, commander, DLA Europe & Africa, officiated the event.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in place, the event was videotaped for web viewing here:

During his tenure as the DDDE commander, Ackiss distinguished himself by successfully leading across all functions and processes of the distribution center comprised of over 200 civilian workers, 15 warehouses and two bulk yards storing 40,000 lines of material for the European Command, Central Command and Africa Command. Special focused missions unique to DDDE include an $80 million Army Supply Support Activity, 35 vehicle fleet for the Department of State valued at $10 million and regional distribution partnerships with the Joint Logistics Enterprise in Europe.

Under Ackiss’ watch, DDDE executed over 500,000 customer orders, processed over 600,000 transshipments and dispatched over 1,500 trucks in support of EUCOM, AFRICOM and CENTCOM named operations, exercises and steady state operations. DDDE is the logistical main effort for DLA across the EUCOM area of responsibility and its dependable and reliable support ensured mission success regardless of size, scope or complexity of operation.

During the COVID-19 response, Ackiss was able to redirect unit priorities from supporting exercise Defender 2020 with full spectrum logistics support to navigating this new environment requiring a new focus and direction from its leader. During this time, Ackiss implemented new safety controls to preserve the workforce, established a new battle rhythm and telework procedures, including for local nationals and set unit priorities to ensure the most critical work was being executed with a reduced workforce. DDDE was responsible for Red Cross material being shipped across the AOR, emergency orders dispatched within 24 hours and dispatching sanitation supplies and equipment to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to Ackiss’ vision and leadership, no COVID-19 support mission failed under his watch. 

Ackiss also served as the Germersheim Army Depot COVID-19 site coordinator responsible for the health and safety of the entire base population. In this capacity, he was responsible for establishing gate screening procedures, health and safety standards at all base agencies and that COVID19 control measure were implemented and followed at all base common and support sites (shoppette, post office, etc.).

For his accomplishments as commander, Ackiss was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, which was presented by Hoffman on behalf of DLA Distribution Commanding Officer, Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones. In her remarks, Hoffman praised Ackiss on his achievements.

“Jon, your accomplishments are simply outstanding,” stated Hoffman, continuing, “I commend you for all your efforts and your leadership here at DLA Distribution Europe during these unprecedented times.”

A native of Newport News, Virginia, incoming commander Dlugosz graduated from Warwick High School, and was commissioned as a Transportation Corps Officer through Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2002.

Her previous assignments include: platoon leader, 46th Transportation Company, 498th Corps Support Battalion, 501st Corps Support Group, Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea; Commander, E Company, 3-25 General Support Aviation Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii; support operations and executive officer, 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division; Brigade Logistics Support Team, Army Field Support Battalion-Riley, Fort Riley, Kansas; and most recently as an outreach officer, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington D.C. 

Dlugosz deployed six times; three in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, one in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, one in support of Operation Spartan Shield, and one in support of Operation Resolute Support. 

Dlugosz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Government Administration from Christopher Newport University. She is a graduate of the Transportation Officer Basic Course, Combined Logistics Captains Career Course, and Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Staff Badge, the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge.