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News | Sept. 26, 2019

My DCMA: Rawle Thomas, mechanical engineer

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 Rawle Thomas.

My name is Rawle Thomas, and this is “My DCMA.”

I am a mechanical engineer at DCMA Lockheed Martin Marietta in Georgia.

My job duties include reviewing the drawings of aircraft schematics, approving production deviations and validating the configuration of the center wing assembly of the F-35 fighter jet and all sub-assemblies on the C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. The C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft is used for search and rescue missions and is deemed as the most advanced airlifter in the world. I ensure the production of the aircraft is in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, design specifications and contract requirements. My mission is to provide immeasurable service in support of the agency’s mission and each of us has a distinctive role in supporting our warfighters.

My DCMA career started on February 13, 2013 as a quality assurance specialist at DCMA Baltimore. My duty station was at AAI Corp., now called Textron System in Hunt Valley, Maryland. I performed surveillance on the RQ-4B Global Hawk and MQ-1C Gray Eagle. As a quality assurance specialist, I performed the assessment of the wings, center body, pay load and the tail end on both of the unmanned aircraft systems.

In April 2014, I accepted a quality assurance engineer position at DCMA Northrop Grumman in Baltimore where I embraced DCMA’s Detection to Prevention, also known as D2P, initiative. We used this initiative to determine the best ways to mitigate risk. I have also used various Lean Six Sigma analytical tools and provided recommendations after performing root cause analysis, periodic risk assessment and increasing surveillance activities in potential high-risk areas.

In February of this year, I joined the DCMA Lockheed Martin Marietta team. During my second week, I received the opportunity to participate in an aircraft delivery ceremony here. This moment was epic and inspiring for me to see the happiness on the faces of the flight crew and other dignitaries who attended the ceremony. During the ceremony, Air Force Col. Lance French, my commander, granted me the opportunity to present the plaque for the C-130J to Air Force Col. Michael Bank of the 106th Rescue Wing from the Gabreski Air National Guard Base based in New York.

Presenting the plaque felt awesome as the flight crew took ownership of one of the world’s most advanced aircraft. The plaque presentation is usually done by military personnel, so to be given this opportunity as a civilian made me feel honored. This event will always be a career highlight because I was able to deliver the final product to the American warfighter on behalf of all the men and women at DCMA.

My experience working for DCMA has been inspiring, rewarding and challenging. I look forward to continuing my career with the agency by providing continued support to our nation’s warfighters.

During my free time, I love to travel both domestically and internationally. I also enjoy staying abreast of new technological innovations in the aerospace and automotive industries because I am intrigued to see how those advances are used to enhance our livelihood.