News | May 20, 2021

DLA Energy Americas North bids farewell to its commander

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

In a virtual ceremony stretching from Houston, Texas, to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Air Force Maj. Marcus McWilliams relinquished command of Defense Logistics Agency Energy Americas North May 18.

Army Col. Raphael Heflin, DLA Energy Americas commander, presided at the time-honored ceremony remotely from DLA Energy Americas headquarters in Houston, Texas.

“Marcus has earned the respect of the entire Americas North team, and they have flourished under his leadership,” Heflin said via webcast while employees and colleagues watched online. “The strategic importance of fuel in the Alaska region has gained ever-increasing attention. Marcus and his command have managed to find ways to deliver combat ready fuel to our Joint Force at remote, austere locations, creating multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.”

Heflin highlighted the vast area of responsibility for the region as the Sub-Area Petroleum Office for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and supporting the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command missions for the Homeland. He noted the team manages the only DLA fuel lab in North America and eight Defense Fuel Support Points holding 87 million gallons of capitalized fuel and growing with fuel contracts totaling $177 million annually.

Alaska will soon be home to the Air Force’s largest collection of 5th generation fighter aircraft.  The Americas North Team, under McWilliams, established a new pre-filter system at Eielson Air Force Base and laid the foundation for increased pipeline and rail off-load throughput as well as increased fuel storage capability.

“As the DLA Energy Americas Commander, I am privileged to have the opportunity to say thanks to a remarkable leader, Lt. Col. (select) Marcus McWilliams, and his family for a job well done,” Heflin said. “Randy Banez, the Americas North deputy, will serve as the acting commander as we transition Marcus to his next rendezvous.”

During the ceremony, McWilliams received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his achievements.

“I am grateful for the opportunities presented to me,” McWilliams said in his farewell speech. “The Air Force accepted me into ROTC and gave me the opportunity to earn a commission learn, grow, and excel and make meaningful contributions to society.”  

McWilliams and his family will be relocating to Buckley Space Force Garrison in Aurora, Colorado, where he will assume command of the 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

“Thank you for honoring your commitments alongside me,” McWilliams said. “To the Americas North team, I want to say thank you for the hard work you’ve contributed over the last two years.”

Air Force Maj. Barton Land will assume command of DLA Energy Americas North in June. Land is currently the logistics plans branch chief at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii.