HONOLULU – The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Indo-Pacific said goodbye to one commander and welcomed aboard a new one during a change of command ceremony April 30 at the Palm Circle Gazebo at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
Family, friends, and Troop Support employees welcomed Navy Commander Erik Decker, and bid farewell to outgoing Commander Shani LeBlanc during the outdoor ceremony.
Decker thanked his family, particularly his mother who traveled from New Jersey, for their support over the years and for attending the ceremony.
This new role marks Decker’s return to DLA Troop Support, where he previously supported the Subsistence Pacific and South West Africa teams from October 2006 to September 2009. This assignment included a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.
“My time in the Subsistence directorate has proven to be one of the most impactful and rewarding tours of my career,” Decker said, noting that he also met his wife, Christina, shortly after returning from his deployment. The couple now has three daughters.
Decker cited DLA Director Vice Adm. Michelle C. Skubic’s Transforming Global Logistics Strategic Plan, which says the agency must be ready to lean forward to address new challenges that threaten the global environment.
“We will continue to lean forward,” Decker said. “We will treat everyone with respect. We will be experts in our fields. We will embrace the processes and programs which need attention before they become problematic. We will communicate abundantly. We will deliver readiness.”
His previous assignment was with the Commander Pacific Fleet, where he served as the staff execution branch head for the N00F Fleet Comptroller.
During the ceremony, LeBlanc was presented with the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for her service with DLA Troop Support Indo-Pacific.
In her remarks, she spoke about the “small but mighty ohana” (a Hawaiian term for family) of DLA Troop Support Indo-Pacific, a team comprised of 49 civilian, nine military and 10 foreign national Korean and Japanese employees spread out across the region in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Singapore, the Philippines, Korea and Japan.
“Over the past three years, we have continued to prove our relevance to the warfighter and DLA with over $3.5 billion in sales directly contributing to warfighter readiness,” she said. “This team’s expertise and capabilities are and will continue to be in high demand.”
Prior to her arrival at DLA Troop Support Indo-Pacific, LeBlanc noted there were changes on the horizon in how the agency would be organized and function as a regional command. She said her team of “exceptional leaders” helped meet this shift head-on.
“We came together, took a hard look at the mission and the organizational structure, and walked away with a focused direction,” she said. “What developed over the last three years has been nothing short of exceptional. The framework that was laid out operationalized the command, expanded solutions-driven warfighter support, and established a legacy that others seek to emulate.”
LeBlanc also noted that the support from Troop Support Headquarters was vital in her team’s success.
“I am grateful for the great leadership of the Command team, assistance and support from the supply chains and J3/5, and the administrative support of human resources and the command support office,” she said.
DLA Troop Support Commander Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence attended the ceremony virtually, and congratulated Decker on joining the DLA Troop Support Indo-Pacific team.
“I look forward to hearing wonderful things about your work here,” Lawrence said. “Please let me take this time to thank Cmdr. LeBlanc for her time and service with us. The Indo-Pacific region saw much success and growth under your leadership, and you have left an indelible mark here. Good luck on your next assignment. You will be greatly missed.”
LeBlanc also thanked her family, including her parents, son, and husband.