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News | April 20, 2018

My DCMA: Aaron Arcé, lead quality assurance specialist

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

My DCMA showcases the Defense Contract Management Agency’s experienced and diverse workforce and highlights what being a part of the national defense team means to them. Today we meet Aaron Arcé.

My name is Aaron Arcé, and this is “My DCMA.”

I am a lead quality assurance specialist at DCMA Orlando in Florida.

My job duties include helping to guide and manage a team of 10 quality assurance specialists to perform surveillance on Department of Defense contractors from small start-up businesses to major contractors across central Florida. This means the team members are itinerant or resident QAS’s, and one of our team’s residential facilities is located in Melbourne, Florida. My main duty is to review policies to keep my team leader and the team informed of the changes that may affect their daily operations, balance workload and ensure all surveillance documentation is complete in accordance with headquarter’s policies.

I have been a part of the DCMA team for six years after leaving the Navy in 2012 because of a reduction-in-force. I have 19 years of combined military and civil service.

I like working at DCMA because when I was an aircraft mechanic on the flight line fixing aircraft, I always wondered how those parts were inspected. There would be times when I ordered an O-ring and nothing would be in the package or we would be waiting on a back-ordered part, and when it arrived, I would open the box to find we could not use the part because there was not a Certificate of Conformance or test documentation. Essentially, the satisfying part has been knowing that what I have inspected could be the part that a solider, sailor, airman or Marine was waiting on to execute essential mission operations.

My reduction-in-force from the military was hard, but DCMA gave me an avenue to continue to serve both my country and the warfighter mission. The benefits of working for DCMA has also allowed me to continue to serve in the armed forces as a Navy reservist and I am working on completing my master’s degree in aeronautics with a specialty in unmanned aerial systems. In May 2017, I was also selected as one of two in the nation to become an aerospace maintenance duty officer.

I am the independent eyes and ears for DoD because my team members and I make sure that contractors are providing quality material to warfighters. We do this by ensuring DoD contractors are adhering to contract, manufacturing and standard repair practices. A majority of my team are prior warfighters and believe that we can provide actionable insight from the factory floor to the warfighter, and even the non-military are outstanding professionals with the same mentality. I make sure my team members are operating within policy, and if needed, provide guidance and run interference to diffuse any issues they may encounter during their surveillance activities.

I provide actionable acquisition insight to DoD by making sure DoD contractors perform within the scope of their contract and provide quality conforming products to the warfighter. If it is not conforming or working and they send it back, we make sure via the Product Quality Deficiency Report route to make sure there is nothing wrong with the manufacturing process. I have been a part of both DCMA St. Petersburg and now with DCMA Orlando, and I can say that both have the best QAS’s I have ever worked with.

DCMA is important to America’s warfighters because we ensure our warfighters receive their quality items on time and per contractual requirements. We communicate with the program office and contractor to ensure the government is getting what has been contracted and what the warfighter actually needs.