By Thomas Perry
DCMA Public Affairs
Outside of the acquisition community, many service members will spend their entire careers never knowing the impact of the Defense Contract Management Agency’s mission on their daily lives while in garrison and forward deployed.
For Dallas Commander Army Col. Wyeth Anderson, this is not the case. After receiving his commission through the Utah State University Reserve Officers' Training Corps in June 1996 and completing the Ordnance Officer Basic Course, Anderson began a diverse military career. Five years later, he completed the Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course. He soon deployed to Iraq with the 64th Brigade Forward Support Battalion.
After returning home in 2005, Anderson found his true passion as a member of the Army Acquisition Corps. During the next 13 years, he developed his intercontinental acquisition expertise. His rise through the ranks stretched across Europe, Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Southwest Asia. He became a contracting globetrotter with a penchant for championing those he led.
So when Anderson assumed command of DCMA Dallas in July, it made sense that one of his early initiatives was to meet and understand the mission of his new agency team members. His first stop was DCMA Lockheed Martin Dallas, which serves as a tertiary command to DCMA Dallas.
As the primary contract management office, Dallas covers contract administration services for Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. While primarily located in the Grand Prairie area, LM Dallas’ area of responsibility is much smaller than its similarly named big brother. Its mission, however, plays a key role in many defense programs: Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, PAC-3, Army Tactical Missile System, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, and Advanced Radar Threat System V-2.
Anderson said one of his tour highlights was boarding an MLRS vehicle and simulating a fire mission launch as well as reloading the rocket and missile pods.
The demonstration highlighted the strength of the professional relationship between DCMA LM and its industrial counterparts in delivering high quality products to our warfighters, he said.
“The DCMA LM quality, engineering, contracting, manufacturing, supervisory and command team is impressive,” said Anderson. “In terms of output to warfighters and contribution to readiness, the return on investment our personnel provide the Department of Defense is incredible, specifically with supporting the Army’s long-range precision fire requirements. Our team members work hard and display a collective understanding of the importance of their work. I’m excited to keep learning about their mission and about the people who perform it.”
One such person is Marlow Bass, a LM Dallas Quality lead.
“I am excited that he took the time to visit and learn about our mission,” said the retired Navy veteran. “I appreciate the time he took for us.”
Throughout the tour, Anderson shared his vision with the team and emphasized that he is always looking to improve efficiency while increasing output. His goal is for all employees to have what they need to find success in their mission, provide unparalleled warfighter service, and maintain a work/life balance, he said.
Army Lt. Col. Quintina Smiley, the DCMA LM Dallas commander, joined her new commanding officer throughout his visit.
“His presence sent a strong statement for our combined and joint efforts,” said Smiley. “Most importantly, he displayed his care for people and employees, as they are the true backbone of our organization. It is truly a pleasure having Col. Anderson part of the DCMA team.”
Agency wide, that team is bolstered by two very different CMO environments. Resident offices co-locate at an industry counterpart facility and work primarily with that contractor in-house. An example of this is DCMA LM Dallas. A geographic-area CMO usually maintains an independent DCMA facility that sends its acquisition professionals to multiple industry locations in order to achieve its support goals. DCMA Dallas is a good example of one.
Within his command role, Anderson will experience both missions. While at the Grand Prairie facility, he observed the production of several parts such as printed wiring boards, harnesses and circuit cards. Afterwards, he toured the Software Integration Lab and was given a thorough explanation of how software and hardware are tied together on PAC-3 missiles.
While touring the government property operations section, he met Property Administrator Harried Diamond.
“It was very gratifying to see that Col. Anderson showed a real interest in and appreciation for the role of government property in supporting the warfighter.”
Supporting the warfighter is ever present in the commander’s thoughts because from October 2015 through October 2016, Anderson deployed his battalion to Afghanistan and assumed command of Regional Contracting Center-Afghanistan at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. His appreciation and understanding in the value of warfighter support comes from his experiences forward deployed. His personal awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
Before leaving Afghanistan in 2016, Anderson transferred mission authority to a replacement unit. During the ceremony, his command’s performance was praised by senior leadership. It was a vital mission after all, with complex contracting actions to include: base life support, information technology, fuel and development of the Afghan personnel pay system that supported U.S. and coalition forces, the Afghanistan National Defense Security Forces, and the offices of the Ministries of Interior and Defense.
“Contracting units take care of our military and civilian personnel,” said Anderson, during the ceremony. “We feed them, we house them, and we equip them, move them, and protect them. We impact their quality of life.”
Despite a career in which he has served around the world, his leadership principles and mission priorities remain rooted in quality support and a “people first” priority.
“There is no greater honor than to support them,” he concluded.
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