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News | July 24, 2023

Army reservists provide critical support

By DCMA Boeing St. Louis

Reservists from Defense Contract Management Agency’s Army Reserve Element have provided critical support to DCMA Boeing St. Louis since April 2022.

Army Lt. Col. Shaunte Chandler and Army Lt. Col. Jean Pharaon provide acquisition support to several complex and high-value foreign military sales program contracts.

Chandler works as a contracting specialist for the Department of Veterans Affairs when not in uniform. She deployed with the Army as a contract management officer, which led to a civilian career with the federal government. Her deployment experience and expertise in her civilian job enabled her to make an immediate and positive impact to the DCMA contracting team on several FMS programs.

Dorothy Dailey, Boeing St. Louis contracts supervisor, said she appreciates the professional support from the reserve element team.

“Since coming to our office, Lt. Col. Chandler has effectively and efficiently administered over 30 complex, high-visibility contracts with a value of over $200 million,” said Dailey. “She has demonstrated her leadership and acquisition knowledge that has added tremendous value to the multifunctional teams for the F-15 Japan Super Interceptor and F-15 sustainment programs. Her experience and contracts skill set provide broader perspectives to how we perform contract administration.”

Dailey said after the outstanding work of Chandler and Pharaon, the office is looking forward to continued integration of DCMA-ARE contracting professionals.

Pharaon also serves the federal government as a civilian, working as a systems engineer for the Joint Strike Fighter Joint Program Office. He is knowledgeable in digital engineering, has experience in model-based systems engineering, and holds a doctorate degree in systems engineering. In those capacities and using lessons learned from the F-35 Lightning II program, he trains DCMA engineers as part of the effort to implement digital engineering into the agency.

“The support provided by Lt. Col. Pharaon has assisted our teams in targeting surveillance to ensure the contractor is implementing new digital engineering processes effectively for our Navy and Air Force programs,” said Cody Kleiner, Boeing St. Louis engineering supervisor. “His support has been critical in escalating and advising our customers on how to improve digital engineering contract language to provide the government teams the tools and data access required to successfully administer these contracts.”

Pharaon was also instrumental in completing a Quality Management System plan that leveraged AS9100 Revision D clauses to manage risks and establish surveillance schedules for the next five years as applicable.

Navy Capt. Ryan Batchelor, DCMA Boeing St. Louis commander, has welcomed the help. His military staff primarily consists of Air Force and Navy service members. The Army presence creates a well-rounded joint environment and facilitates professional excellence.

“We’ve faced staffing shortages since my arrival in August 2020, so the inclusion of ARE officers has been a welcome addition to help manage our contracts and engineering workload, which are the two functional areas where we have the most hiring challenges,” said Batchelor. “The feedback from our teams thus far is that the quality of the individuals assigned has been higher than expected and a welcome relief to the increased workloads.”

The Boeing St. Louis contract management office experienced a surge in work recently, with new contracts such as the T-7A, Air Force jet trainer replacement, the MQ-25, Navy unmanned refueling system, and the restart of the Harpoon and Standoff Land-Attack Missile-Expanded Response, or SLAM-ER, programs.

When the civilian hiring process is unable to keep up with the hiring demand, reservists like Chandler and Pharaon can surge to support an office until the hiring process catches up.

There are over 200 Army, Air Force and Navy reservists supporting DCMA in various capacities and locations.

“Many reservists work in acquisition fields and can bring unique experience and thought diversity to the DCMA mission,” said Batchelor. “Advanced planning by matching the right service member with the requirement is key to successful implementation of reserve component support. We are benefiting from this support and plan to continue using reservists in the future.”