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News | Sept. 25, 2018

DCMA Manassas wins antiterrorism award

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

Defense Contract Management Agency Manassas leaders recently received an award at the Pentagon for their antiterrorism efforts.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency gave the contract management office the award for Best Antiterrorism Program in a small Department of Defense facility during the National Capital Region’s antiterrorism seminar on Aug. 21. The National Capital Region is comprised of cities in the Washington, DC, metro area. 

“This award is important because it showcases and rewards the tremendous efforts, commitment and importance the DCMA Manassas team has placed on protecting our highly valued workforce, our information, and our property,” said Navy Capt. Pamela Theorgood, DCMA Manassas’ commander. 

“As terrorists have reached new levels of sophistication and violence, often targeting DoD personnel, this award reflects that our office has successfully developed an effective, comprehensive antiterrorism program with defensive measures that minimize our vulnerability to terrorist acts. This is a significantly more challenging task for an off-military installation, leased facility, in the National Capital Region,” she said. 

According to Theorgood, the award program recognizes the excellence and achievement of organizations in a small or large category who work diligently to protect the DoD mission, facilities and employees. The goal of the program is to also reinforce the awareness of antiterrorism efforts within the DoD community and the importance of deterring these acts. 

Stephen Sloboda, DCMA Manassas’ deputy, said the award highlights the teamwork at the office and across the agency. 

“Receiving this honor is especially rewarding for a small field activity such as ourselves,” he said. “We are not staffed to perform many of the unique security roles and responsibilities expected of federal agencies in the National Capital Region. It is a credit to the dedication and diligence of our office, the Eastern Region and the headquarters’ staff, that we are able to accomplish so much.”

Award recipients receive their recognition based on a variety of factors, including innovative actions, workforce training efforts, and information used in the Pentagon Force Protection Agency’s antiterrorism integrated vulnerability assessment. 

“Having an informed, vigilant and engaged workforce is our most effective strategy in identifying threats and preventing attacks,” said Theorgood. “We ensure every member of DCMA Manassas has the knowledge to effectively contribute to the security of our office. We have developed and posted all required antiterrorism and force protection instructions on our 360 security website. We routinely exercise and train with the Pentagon, DoD agencies, and local law enforcement on (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives) drills, active shooter exercises, and various blue dart threat warning scenarios.”

Theorgood said that Heather Schumack, the office's antiterrorism officer, makes sure employees stay up-to-date with their antiterrorism training efforts.

“She has also brought the Pentagon Force Protection Agency’s roadshow here to promote the ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ initiative. In addition, workspace security was augmented by video surveillance and the activation of an alarm system for the office that is monitored by the Federal Protective Services,” said Theorgood. 

“The combination of the aforementioned initiatives, in concert with constant communication and feedback to the workforce on all exercises and security assessments, instills a heightened awareness and sense of safety throughout the command.”

Schumack said the office's location reminds her of the importance of her job, especially after the September 11th attacks 17 years ago. 

“DCMA Manassas is in a location that brings higher expectations and additional requirements mandated by the U.S. Northern Command. This award is important to our office and the team members involved with the antiterrorism program because we are a small office with very limited resources. After all the hard work we put into the program last year, it’s gratifying for our team to be recognized by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency,” she said.

In addition to the DCMA Manassas leadership who attended the recognition ceremony, representatives from headquarters attended on behalf of the agency’s senior leaders. 

“Recognition such as this demonstrates the importance DCMA places on its security and force protection programs and it recognizes the teamwork put into such efforts by both members of the DCMA Manassas and headquarters’ security teams,” said Hugh Wiley, DCMA’s director of security. “Further, it demonstrates the superior results that can be achieved when organizations such as DCMA Manassas work with their headquarters’ counterparts and local officials in a collaborative and productive environment.”

Stephen Kellar, DCMA’s physical security and antiterrorism program manager, said that in addition to the award ceremony, the seminar provided useful information to enhance the agency’s antiterrorism efforts. The seminar included briefings from the FBI, Virginia Fusion Center, and the Fairfax County Police Department. He plans to attend again and encourages other employees to participate in the annual seminar.

“This is the first year that DCMA attended, but representatives from headquarters’ security and from DCMA Manassas plan to attend this value-added discussion and networking forum annually,” he added.