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CHIPS Articles: Pentagon Leaders Honor Excellence in Acquisition

Pentagon Leaders Honor Excellence in Acquisition
By Nick Simeone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity - December 10, 2014
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2014 – The 2014 Defense Acquisition Workforce Awards were handed out today during a Pentagon ceremony in which the department’s leadership honored those who through acquisition excellence, provide outstanding support to the warfighter.

“Recognizing our professionals and the great work they do is really important,” Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kindall told award recipients, who are among the more than 150,000 civilian and military members that make up the department’s acquisition workforce.

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was also on hand to present awards to staff who, he said, “based on our dreams and your dreams design, produce and ultimately, hopefully on cost and on schedule and on performance, do the very critical part of logistic support… the kinds of things that people who wear the uniform like me have to use out there defending our country.”

The following categories and individuals were recognized for outstanding service:

  • Requirements Management: Diane Baker, U.S. Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, for “exemplifying excellence in requirements management through the study and implementation of cost capability analysis for the Air Force.”
  • Acquisition in an Expeditionary Environment: Matthew A. Mclean, U.S. Air Force, 10th Contracting Squadron, U.S. Air Force Academy for “outstanding mission support to U.S. Central Command.”
  • Auditing: Robert F. LeJeune, Defense Contract Audit Agency, for “outstanding contributions to the acquisition process and his ultimate support of the warfighter and protection of the taxpayer.”
  • Business: Maryellen Lukac, U.S. Army, for among other things, providing “essential acquisition and funding direction in the accomplishment of the urgent production and delivery of 918 60mm mortar systems to the Afghan national army within seven months from request.”
  • Contracting and Procurement: Patricia A. Watson, Washington Headquarters Services Acquisition Directorate, for her “stellar commitment to increasing contract quality and to developing the professional acquisition competencies of over 115 contracting professionals within WHS/AD.”
  • Earned Value Management: David Kester, Defense Contract Management Agency, for among other things “leadership and courage in confronting the lack of consistency, standardization and transparency” of a DCMA management system.
  • Engineering: Daniel Dittenber, U.S. Army, for among other things implementing “innovative solutions to dramatically improve readiness and sustainability while simultaneously improving performance capabilities’;
  • Facilities Engineering: Leland “Allen” Fincham, Directorate of Public Works, Joint Munitions Command, Blue Grass Army Depot, Richmond, Kentucky, for among other things “ensuring that facilities are maintained, improved and operated in such a way as to minimize mission impacts” while taking “stellar care of employees.”
  • Information Technology: Edward Lane, National Reconnaissance Office, for changing “how the NRO, Department of Defense and intelligence community acquire information-sharing capabilities that meet the needs of our nation’s decision makers.”
  • Life Cycle Logistics: Kevin Cormier, U.S. Navy, for among other things contributing “directly and significantly to sustaining the affordability of DoD’s most complex weapons system.”
  • Production, Quality and Manufacturing: John Graham, Defense Contract Management Agency, for “exhibiting the highest levels of excellence in the acquisition of products and services in support of the warfighter and protection of taxpayer resources.”
  • Program Management: Thu Van Hendrey, U.S. Navy, for among other things, establishing “rigorous processes to ensure the prime contractor’s integration and testing program scrupulously supported the program’s operational requirements.”
  • Science and Technology Manager: Maj. Christopher Schlagheck, U.S. Air Force, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, for managing a $30 million space threat microsatellite program during a period in which he “significantly advanced the state of the art for this nation’s space defense posture.”
  • Services Acquisition: Steven R. Lahr, U.S. Air Force, Air Combat Command’s Acquisition Management and Integration Center, for among other things “leading the way in implementing the Better Buying Power 2.0 philosophy.”
  • Small Business: Crystal Ober, Defense Logistics Agency, for having a “profound effect on DLA aviation by increasing small business participation from 22.4 percent in fiscal year 2012 to 30.7 percent in FY14.”

In addition to the awards for individual achievement, employees at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division were honored with the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Award for “achieving excellence in developing acquisition professionals.”

Also receiving the award:

  • The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Business Financial Management Competency;
  • The 448th Supply Chain Management Wing/ 431st Supply Chain Management Squadron;
  • The Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center, U.S. Special Operations Command;
  • Army Contracting Command; and
  • The Acquisition Excellence and Program Execution Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command.

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