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Seasonal change also brings new regional leaders

By Jake Joy and Tim Hoyle

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As spring transitions into summer, senior leadership for three Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services regions will shift as well.

Joe Arnold’s departure as the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Mid-America regional director meant a transfer for Kathy Atkins-Nuñez from her post as director for the South-East to replace Arnold, while Omar Khlifi was promoted from his deputy director post in Europe and Africa to take her position.

A retired Army colonel, Arnold served the agency as the DLA Pacific commander before coming to DLA Disposition Services, where he first served as director for the Pacific region. He later took over the Mid-America region. Before leaving DLA Disposition Services for DLA Distribution, he sent a farewell message to his colleagues accounting for the last five years.

“Before embarking on my new journey, I felt compelled to tell each of you what an honor it has been to serve alongside you,” Arnold said. “We have and continue to be a force multiplier in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. I depart with incredible pride and gratitude, not because of the positions I have held, but because I have stood in solidarity with you.”

A 35-year-veteran with DLA Disposition Services, Atkins-Nuñez led her region for the last 15 years after becoming the leader of the East region in 2005. Her region was later renamed South-East during the command’s Network Optimization realignment. Throughout that time, she said she has been honored to work with some of the most resilient and outstanding individuals of her career. 

“They have and will continue to tackle challenges head on and overcome obstacles in order to get the mission done and provide outstanding customer service,” Atkins-Nuñez said. “It’s been a pleasure, and I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the support they’ve given me.”

Khlifi’s Marine Corps service gave him leadership skills as a sergeant and experience as a heavy equipment operator; qualifications that helped him obtain his first civilian post in DLA Disposition Services in 2007 as a wage-grade material handler in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He spent the next seven years working through the ranks and gained experience in Italy, Florida and California to reach the general schedule-13 level. Along the way, he said he grew as a civilian logistician and learned from “some outstanding supervisors/leaders and … good people.”

“I firmly believe that every day is an interview,” Khlifi said. “DLA has given me many chances and allowed me to learn, improve and exceed my career expectations. …If you do your job, the sky’s the limit for you. You can be whatever you want to be.”

Having grown up in Morocco and served around the world, Khlifi has a feel for the global posture of the agency and the people it serves. 

“There’s always something different -- a new mission, a new requirement for a unit somewhere,” Khlifi said. “There’s always something new you can do to help the warfighter, and I take that seriously.”

“I will sorely miss the amazing team in Europe, the sense of the camaraderie is comparable to the military,” Khlifi said. “Looking forward to joining the DSD South-East team and continue the great work Kathy has done over the past 15 years” 

While operational needs allowed Arnold to assume his post at Warner Robins, Georgia, travel restrictions will delay relocation moves by Atkins-Nuñez and Khlifi until it is safe for them and their families to travel.