News | June 1, 2022

New fuel commanders learn roles and responsibilities

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

Six incoming and outgoing Defense Logistics Agency Energy regional military commanders participated in a two-day course to prepare them for their role and responsibilities as fuel providers to Combatant Commands at the McNamara Headquarters Complex on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, May 16-18.

DLA Energy has 11 regional commands located across the globe to help enable mission readiness by providing globally resilient energy solutions to the Warfighter and Whole of Government.

“Congratulations on your leadership assignment,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas in his opening remarks. “The Pre-Command Orientation offers a great opportunity for the new incoming commanders to be introduced to DLA Energy and engage with the directorates, their colleagues and staff and support offices as well as having the opportunity to meet the senior leaders.”  

For a new DLA Energy regional military commander, learning about the fuel capabilities and infrastructure and resources available is essential in supporting their regional operational area of responsibility. DLA Energy provides commercial and military ground, marine and aviation fuels as well as space and missile propellants, chemicals and gases, natural gas, and electricity. In addition, DLA Energy is the Department of Defense’s center of expertise for alternative fuels and renewable energy and serves as the executive agent for DoD’s bulk petroleum supply chain and supports many other energy-related commodities and services for its customers. 

“My professional priorities are developing exceptional leaders, logistics excellence, being agile and adaptable, and creating an environment of dignity and respect,” Canlas told his new commanders. “Command is a privilege that is afforded to the very best officers, and I look forward to working with each of you.”   

DLA Energy subject matter experts briefed the new commanders on a variety of topics including fuel distribution challenges, manpower issues, equal opportunity and contracting. Shared experiences and lessons learned in command was a common theme throughout the course.

Attending in the class was Army Col. Josiel Carrasquillomorales who is returning to DLA Energy to take command of DLA Energy Americas in June. Previously, she was the DLA Energy Americas East regional commander from 2017 to 2019.

“The most valuable lesson that I learned during the course was the DLA Energy’s still maintaining its unwavering commitment to our Nation and warfighter despite the changing and challenging environment,” Carrasquillomorales said. “DLA Energy is an organization that strongly invest in people, readiness, and innovation.” 

Carrasquillomorales discovered that new administrative and personnel changes occurred while she was gone.

“The topic that most surprise me about DLA Energy was the investment on Future of Work where DLA Energy is adapting to new ways of working,” Carrasquillomorales said. “It was great to hear we are looking for a hybrid workplace concept to help increase retention and create an optimal work environment that is safe, secure, and modern.”  

Army Lt. Col. Benverren Fortune has been the DLA Energy Europe & Africa commander for two years in Kleber Kaserne, Kaiserslautern, Germany. He shared his philosophy and perspective of command with the incoming leaders.

“Command is a marathon and not a sprint,” Fortune said. “I recommend that commanders follow their predecessor’s indoctrination to their organization and get out and meet your people as well as understand your capabilities throughout your region.”

For the first time, regional deputy commanders were invited to attend the pre-command course.

For Russell Ogden, the seasoned deputy director of DLA Energy South-West Pacific located at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, attending the pre-command course was an enlightening experience. 

“Putting the names to faces and having side bar conversations was invaluable,” Ogden said. “I thought the plan and agenda as well as the logistics of getting everyone together was outstanding.”

While DLA Energy is a joint military command, it is composed primarily of a civilian workforce. For some of the new military commanders, this may be a first time working closely with government civilians.

“If you have not had the opportunity to lead government civilians and contractors, make sure to take the time to learn what is needed to take care of them,” said DLA Energy Deputy Commander David Kless. “Your deputies are government [GS-13 and GS-14 civilians], and they can be your greatest asset; not only as you are getting familiar with the missions and tasks associated with your region but also as you get familiar with the civilian employees that work for you.”  

In closing comments Kless remarked that the DLA Energy workforce will strive to make the commanders and the mission successful in supporting the warfighter. “Make sure to strive to make them successful as well,” he said.

This summer brings several changes in leadership across DLA Energy regional offices. They include:

DLA Energy Americas West change of command will take place June 13 when Navy Cmdr. Frank Kim transitions to his new assignment.

DLA Energy Korea will change command from Army Lt. Col. Jose Medina to Army Lt. Col. Dennis Han. Medina is moving to the Army Sustainment Command Team at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. Han is currently the Director Of Logistics, U.S. Special Operations Command Korea.

DLA Energy Americas will change command from Army Col. Raphael Heflin to Army Col. Josiel Carrasquillomorales June 30. Heflin is moving to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to become the Assistant G4, U.S. Army Forces Command. Carrasquillo is a former DLA Energy Americas East commander and is rejoining the DLA Energy team from the U.S. Southern Command Commander’s Action Group.