News | Aug. 9, 2021

DLA Energy Middle East changes command

By Connie Braesch

Defense Logistics Agency Energy Middle East bid farewell to Air Force Lt. Col. Jennifer Neris and welcomed the incoming commander, Army Lt. Col. Alberto Cordova, during a virtual Change of Command Ceremony in Bahrain, Aug. 4.

Commander of DLA U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command, Army Col. Gerard Acosta, presided over the ceremony virtually from CENTCOM headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

“Jennifer’s team provided world-class support to our joint and coalition forces across the CENTCOM area. From the tactical to the strategic, bulk fuel management to international agreements, posturing Saudi Arabia for a future operational environment, and supporting our Afghanistan withdrawal, Jennifer exuded all the traits of a strategic leader,” Acosta said. “Because of her leadership, we are proud to call her our teammate.”

Neris received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for her leadership and management of more than 40 direct delivery fuel sites, 17 fuel support points, 12 international agreements and 56 contracts across 11 countries throughout the CENTCOM area of operations. 

“Lieutenant Colonel Neris' attention to detail was critical to the fuel drawdown across Afghanistan in support of the Presidential withdrawal timeline,” the citation read. “She led the closure of Defense Fuel Support Points in Kabul and Bagram three months ahead of schedule.”

In her remarks, Neris thanked her Deputy Director Sloane Struse for his expertise and in-depth knowledge of bulk fuels. She also thanked the Middle East Energy team.

“You all make the job look easy even though we know it is not,” she said. “It has been an honor serving alongside each and every one of you over the past year. I wish you all the best in the future.”

During the event, Neris ceremoniously passed the DLA flag to Cordova signifying the passing of command and the responsibility of the organization’s mission and people. 

During his remarks, Cordova thanked Neris and the team for their support during his transition

“You’ve left some big shoes to fill,” he told Neris. “I look forward to continuing the great work you’ve started.”

The DLA Energy Middle East mission is to provide comprehensive fuel management support to Central Command and other government activities operating in the Middle East and Central Asia. Operating from Bahrain, the region provides comprehensive energy solutions to the warfighter in real-time, focusing on wartime effectiveness and peacetime efficiency.