News | July 2, 2020

DLA Energy Americas welcomes Army Col. Heflin

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

Army Col. Raphael Heflin took command of Defense Logistics Agency Energy Americas from Acting Commander Jason Exum during a virtual ceremony in Houston, Texas, June 29.

DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas presided over the ceremony remotely from the Kunkel Conference Room, McNamara Headquarters Complex, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

“DLA Energy Americas has always been blessed with outstanding leadership and Col. Raphael Heflin is no exception,” Canlas said. “Raphael comes to us from the center of Army Logistics, the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 in Washington, D.C., where he served as the Major End Items Division Chief for the Supply Directorate.”

Canlas described Heflin as a proven leader who brings an extraordinary combination of operational and logistical expertise to the position.

Heflin brings a wealth of experience as a previous commander for the 142nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he led the 1,000-soldier Atlas Battalion for 23 months and deployed Soldiers to Afghanistan, Africa, Kuwait, and Turkey. He is a graduate of the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course, the Combined Arms Service Staff School, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Joint and Combined Warfighting School, and Senior Service College as a Secretary of Defense Executive Fellow. 

In his speech, Heflin thanked the former DLA Energy Americas Commander, Army Col. Kevin Cotman, for ensuring a smooth and seamless transition. Cotman relinquished command to his deputy, Jason Exum, June 1.

The assumption of command ceremony is deeply rooted in military history and tradition, dating back to the reign of King Fredrick the Great, of Prussia. Due to the current COVID-19 environment, the traditional ceremony was held without the passing of the unit flag. Instead, hand salutes were rendered to publicly honor the color passing tradition.

“I will continue to nurture the positive relationships between the Americas Team and our fellow Energy and DLA organizations as well as our industry partners that help enable the first-class support to our customers,” Heflin said. “We will be inclusive and respect each other, embrace our differences, and leverage the power of diversity within the organization to develop innovative solutions to problems we will ultimately face.” 

Canlas, who took command of the DLA Energy organization on June 23, was honored to preside over the ceremony.  

“I have only been in command six days and my personal respect for the mission, performance and impact of DLA Energy continues to grow,” he said. “We have a great command team in Col. Heflin and Deputy Commander Jason Exum.”