DCMA Public Affairs
QUEBEC — Lauren Bastien serves as an industrial specialist with DCMA Americas. Bastien, who joined Defense Contract Management Agency in 2014, reflected on her role within the national defense team.
What brought you to the agency?
I was working as a maintenance operation planner with the Connecticut Air National Guard and other duties related to the industrial specialist career field. I had some co-workers at the time leave for industrial specialist positions with DCMA. The feedback they shared on their experiences interested me.
Some of my duties that related to the industrial specialist career field included being a contracting officer representative, creating schedules for aircraft maintenance, managing government credit cards and accepting product in the Wide Area Workflow program. With my past experiences and positive feedback from my co-workers, it seemed like a good career decision, so I made the jump.
Since then, DCMA has given me the opportunity to travel internationally and expand my horizons professionally and personally. Seeing how DCMA integrates its local national workforce has been extremely interesting. In Canada, the government can sign off on quality product in the Wide Area Workflow program. Canada is the only country allowed to do this and this authority shows how close our relationship is with Canada and reinforces the trust we’ve developed.
I enjoy the teamwork and professionalism I have experienced during my DCMA career. I have become more confident because of the large cross-functional collaboration here in Canada. I feel very prepared for any future roles within DCMA due to the extensive amount of knowledge I’ve gained and the experience I’ve earned through leadership opportunities.
What are your job duties and what involves a typical day at the office?
I’ve had two different industrial specialist positions since I arrived in Montreal, Quebec in 2016. From 2016 to 2021, I was an industrial specialist for an F-18/A depot-level maintenance program and provided program assessment reporting and delivery status notifications. I also maintained risk assessments and customer requests. I reviewed and signed more than 2,000 over-and-above requests annually and performed critical surveillance for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, P-8 component repair, rocket booster motor production and various sustainment contracts in central Canada.
Since November 2021, I have been working a geographical workload. I maintain and follow-up with customer requests and contractor status for issuing delay notices. I also manage over 30 cage codes. I interact daily with suppliers and buying activities to discuss progress and performance. I also perform pre-award survey assessments and perform progress payment reviews.
The majority of surveillances I support are on artillery products, jet engines, spare parts for aircraft and major component repairs. Many of the artillery products we have supported are being used in the replenishment of stockpiles allocated to Ukraine in support of their ongoing war with Russia.
How does your work support the Department of Defense and our warfighters?
I recently resolved a production-line work stoppage for the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Cherry Point Fleet Readiness Center East. I requested an expedited delivery from a T-400 reduction gearbox line supplier. I helped facilitate communication with the government of Canada, the program office and the supplier to expedite the requested parts.
Our insight also helped resolve bottlenecks they were experiencing. The commanding officer in charge at DLA Aviation appreciated the effort, and for me, seeing how I could influence production timelines was rewarding.
I also helped resolve multiple work stoppages at the F-18/A depot repair facility by assisting them have the correct systems in place to resolve any communication or shipment delays. This led to a cost savings of over $5 million in revised over-and-above hours and alerted program offices to where funds were being spent.
How important is DCMA’s warfighter support?
Every position in DCMA has a huge role in getting products and support to warfighters on time and for the right price. Saving the government time and money is our specialty, and I think that is very important. I recently retired after 20 years of service with the Connecticut Air National Guard. I apply many skills I learned in the military to my work with DCMA. I appreciate that I can assist the warfighter in getting what they need every day, and I know how important that is because I once wore the uniform and was the end user.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Working in an area where English is not the first language brings some challenges. Speaking slowly and repeating myself is a daily occurrence, so patience is necessary when working in the International community.
I have two young children and they have experienced the culture and French language here in Quebec. Canadian hospitality is as real as its reputation. I have experienced firsthand that comradery and friendliness. It has been a great overall experience for me in my almost six years here.
In my free time, I like to go hiking and camping with my family. I have taken a couple of Canadian survival courses her and have been able to enjoy several of the area’s beautiful national parks. My favorites are in British Columbia and Alberta.
Media Relations: 804-873-8011
FOIA Requests: 804-609-4533
Download the DCMA Media Kit (PDF)