News | July 8, 2021

DLA Aviation awards ceremony recognizes outstanding employees

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford hosted the first of its kind DLA Aviation Annual Awards Ceremony June 29, 2021 in the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. 

Though the event was presented virtually in observance of safe practices due to the pandemic, award recipients and their families, along with immediate supervisors, were invited to attend the ceremony in person.

Sanford expressed his gratitude to employees who continue to support the warfighter during his opening statement.

The inaugural military honorees, all from the Customer Operations Directorate, are Navy Lt. Cmdr. Juan (Tony) Luevano, a weapon systems program officer with the Navy Customer Facing Division; Marine Corps Capt. Katherine Pollock, a F/A-18 weapon systems program manager and  Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Brian Scoggins, an aviation armament systems support chief, both with the Marine Corps Customer Facing Division; and Air Force Tech Sgt. Anthony Mendoza, a materiel management enlisted career broadener with the Air Force Customer Facing Division.

Luevano, who received the DLA Aviation 2020 Field Grade Officer of the Year recognition, spearheaded a complete revision of “piece part” integrated supply chain metrics to improve executive-level F/A-18 heads up display board visibility. As a result, previously unknown national item identification number degraders were uncovered and senior leaders became more engaged in wholesale/retail performance.

Luevano also engaged the original equipment manufacturer to expedite delivery of parts months ahead of schedule, leading to a reduction in backorders and extending the service life of existing parts through non-destructive inspections.

Pollock’s initiative with cross-organization communications surrounding the F/A-18 Naval Air Systems Command reliability control board drove increased accountability and expectation management for high-visibility piece parts. She also assessed supply chain impacts through frequent monitoring and communication with affected vendors and fleet customers to highlight priority areas of engagement for leadership. Her efforts earned her the DLA Aviation 2020 Company Grade Officer of the Year recognition.

Scoggins was recognized as the DLA Aviation 2020 Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for personally establishing and providing in-depth training to fleet counterparts in order to increase knowledge, processes and reduce backorders. He also created an internal comprehensive program in the Marine-Aged Backorder Tool that improves performance by reducing research time, and he created a bill of materials for each individual piece of aircraft armament equipment and crew-served weapon to provide an all-encompassing readiness brief per end item.

Mendoza, who received the DLA Aviation 2020 Noncommissioned Officer of the Year recognition at the ceremony, provided critical support to DLA customers and warfighters while deployed to Kuwait with the DLA Support Team as the operations superintendent and served as a contract officer, responding to mission needs and proactively planning a crisis response strategy with senior Army leaders. Mendoza’s efforts led to the delivery of rations and fuel support for 1,500 troops in the immediate aftermath of an Iran ballistic missile attack.

Mendoza also manages 100,000 parts while validating 40 service requirements, which directly affects 26 aircraft. He also coordinated with 55 vendors to expedite 140 contract deliveries, meeting the goal of 88% by increasing the F-16 mission capable rate to 6% for 57 aircraft.

Civilian contributions to the mission are paramount, and the awards ceremony also honored the efforts of three employees: Jay Castro, a materials handler with DLA Aviation at Ogden; Philip Smith, an avionics supervisor with DLA Aviation at Jacksonville; and John “Jack” Whaley, a contracting officer in the Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate.

Castro, who is part of the Industrial Support Activities Team in Ogden, Utah, was awarded the DLA Aviation 2020 Civilian Employee of the Year Award [Category A] and is a DLA Employee of the Quarter Award recipient for quarter two. Castro’s direct efforts throughout the quarter resulted in 4,306 material requisition orders processed without delay or discrepancy. 

His tireless dedication maintained a 100% delivery response time by either meeting or exceeding the performance-based agreement metric parameters of 90 minutes for each delivery. Castro identified an opportunity to increase team cohesion and worked with Ogden’s local service provider to resolve a door-to-floor asset valued at $50,000, which was received without proper documentation. Using his vast knowledge and robust customer service, Castro acquired the necessary paperwork and ensured the material was delivered to the customer within the delivery response time metric. 

Smith is the recipient of the 2020 DLA Employee of the Quarter Award for quarter three and was awarded the DLA Aviation 2020 Civilian Employee of the Year Award [Category B]. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith developed a series of virtual tool training events for his fellow supervisors and his team. As a result, proficiency in virtual management and critical communication techniques increased exponentially.

Smith also refined and implemented procedures for the requisition alert program by creating a checklist, desk guide and training customer support specialists. The return on investment was immediate, as unrestricted and local fill rates reached all-time highs of 93.4% and 92.8%, respectively.

Whaley also received a 2020 DLA Employee of the Quarter Award in quarter three and was awarded the DLA Aviation 2020 Civilian Employee of the Year Award [Category C], in recognition of his work executing a new contract for the 54H60 propeller system that would ensure Air Force demands and production schedules were not jeopardized.

Whaley received buy-in from all parties on the development of a new supplier initiated ordering acquisition strategy, and as a result was able to award a five-year, $87.5 million contract at a $16.2 million reduction from the proposed price, reducing lead times to 30 days on all 854 parts, and focusing on reduced and optimized stock levels owned by both the government and the contractor.

The ceremony will become an annual event to recognize DLA Aviation team members for outstanding accomplishments. Congratulations to all DLA Aviation fiscal year 2020 award winners!