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News | June 27, 2024

DCMA Ohio River Valley stands up, replaces DCMA Dayton

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Central Region Public Affairs

Army Col. Kenneth Darnall, the Defense Contract Management Agency Central Region commander, oversaw the establishment standup ceremony of DCMA Ohio River Valley on June 6.

DCMA Dayton was disestablished during the ceremony with the casing of the colors and became a part of DCMA Ohio River Valley, also known as DCMA ORV. Approximately 60 people attended the live-digital hybrid event in person, which was held at the United Service Organization building here.

DCMA senior leaders, including Cory Rosenberger, chief of staff, attended and were joined by staff from the Air Force Customer Engagement team. The Wright-Patterson Honor Guard performed the posting of the colors and the Air Force’s Band of Flight played the National Anthem.  

“I appreciate the history of where we’ve come from and where we’re going,” said Darnall. “This is the first part of change. We must evaluate continuously where we are, and how do we reshape or rebalance our organization to best provide the best mission support to our warfighters?”

Air Force Col. Thomas Clohessy, former commander of DCMA Dayton, became the new director of DCMA ORV. The subordinate commands, DCMA Lexington and DCMA Cleveland, will realign under ORV. Some employees from DCMA Chicago and what was formerly known as DCMA Detroit, transferred to the new contract management office. The new organization will have more than 380 employees.

DCMA ORV was officially activated June 2 under General Order No. FY24-15. ORV employees will manage and have acquisition oversight on $41 billion in contract obligations, 16,000 contract actions, and 1,200 contractors located in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan.

ORV is the lead CMO for the Air Force Simulators program and supports contracts for the Special Operations Command and various programs across the joint nuclear enterprise.

Darnall said he was excited about the new CMO and wanted ORV employees to maintain teamwork. He praised the CMO leaders, first-line supervisors and employees for making the standup transition smooth.

“DCMA Ohio River Valley is a new organization and whenever you standup a new organization, there are questions that you may have,” said Darnall. “How do we enhance the best of the CMOs as we combine them? How do you get the best practices and not lose them, but improve upon them?”

Darnall thanked Clohessy for extending his duty assignment to help with the new CMO transition and continuity. This is the second CMO reorganization for the Central Region. The first reorganization was the establishment of DCMA Land Systems, which replaced DCMA Detroit, and held its standup ceremony June 5. Both reorganizations are a result of DCMA Vision, which is the agency’s strategic plan that realigns and consolidates CMOs to better serve customers.

“Standing up a new organization brings with it an uncertainty that could create a negative environment,” said Clohessy. “We had planned accordingly to mitigate this threat and ensure as smooth a transition as possible for everyone involved. It required open communication and a lot of collaboration from both the ORV and DCMA Land Systems leadership team. I can say with confidence, as of today, that our ORV team has done an outstanding job bringing this organization together.” 

The Central Region is the last region to reorganize under DCMA Vision and Darnall said he and other region leaders learned best practices and lessons learned from the Western and Eastern Region leaders during their reorganizations and new CMO standups. One of those lessons is understanding an organization’s history, traditions and culture.

“Col. Darnall made a good point at yesterday’s DCMA Land Systems establishment ceremony by mentioning some of DCMA Detroit’s team moving over to ORV, bringing part of Detroit’s storied tradition along with it,” said Clohessy.

“What stuck out to me about the comment was tradition,” he added. “As you all know, the challenge with this type of change we are implementing is how to bring multiple organizations together, respecting one another’s age-old traditions, while establishing new traditions moving forward as ORV. It presents an opportunity to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. As a result of this opportunity, we were able merge the traditions of South Bend, Detroit, and Dayton to establish new ORV traditions based on the foundation of our prior organizations’ traditions.”

DCMA Dayton maintains a storied history as well. Its precursor, the Defense Contracting Administration Service Division Dayton, was activated on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1965. The office moved to Gentile Air Station in Kettering, Ohio, in 1966. After the air station closed in 1996, the office moved back to Wright-Patterson.

Along the way, DCMA Dayton was previously named DCMA Ohio River Valley in 2008. It was renamed DCMA Dayton again in 2010. At that point, DCMA Cleveland was established as a streamlined CMO and DCMA Indianapolis was realigned as a streamlined CMO under DCMA Dayton. DCMA Indianapolis was renamed DCMA Lexington in 2023. 

Clohessy told ORV employees how much he appreciated their hard work and patience.

“There is still a lot of work to do,” he said. “Along with standing up a new organization, we’ll experience some bumps in the road and continue to make adjustments by turning the dials a bit here and there as we familiarize ourselves with the new organization and workload we have to manage. I sincerely appreciate everyone’s hard work and patience in developing a game plan and making a few audibles along the way to create and execute, under a very compressed timeline, what is ORV today. You truly epitomize the DCMA Vision which is, ‘A team of trusted professionals delivering value to our warfighters through the acquisition lifecycle.’ It is my distinct privilege and honor to continue serving with you on this journey and creating new traditions under our new flag as Ohio River Valley.”