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News | June 10, 2016

Worldwide change of command

By Stephen Hickok DCMA Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va. - Command of Defense Contract Management Agency International transferred to Navy Capt. Sonya Ebright from Navy Rear Adm. Deborah Haven during a change of command here, May 23.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Wendy Masiello, DCMA director, presided over the ceremony and awarded Haven the Defense Superior Service Medal for “exceptionally superior service” over the last three years.

Haven will continue her work with the agency as chief of staff.

Before passing command to Ebright, Haven thanked the international team for their enthusiasm and dedication and encouraged them to stay focused on the mission.

“We need to take a moment to reflect on the big picture of what DCMA enables and supports,” said Haven. “You have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the warfighter. You ensure the quality of vehicles, the communication equipment, the weapons and the ammunition so our service personnel and allies can execute the mission. Never forget the importance of your work, so many are depending on you.”

Masiello highlighted DCMA International’s unique mission operating in 26 different countries and overseeing 9,600 contracts totaling over $75 billion in program value.

“Each country has its own language, each country has its own way of doing business,” she said.
“We partner with those countries in a way that actually shares oversight responsibility. We learn how to communicate and trust one another to share the insights into their contractor’s performance. The international community is a package of brave people forging environments that didn’t exist in the past.”

International’s role has partially changed under Haven’s leadership. Military drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, and contingency contracting support transitioning to the Army led to the decision to lower the commander’s office from a flag officer position.

It was a hard decision for Masiello.

“Why on earth are we bringing in an O6 behind a flag?” said Masiello. “With the connections and responsibilities that Adm. Haven has carved, it’s important that you have the right person coming in. If it’s time now to transition from a flag to an O6, who is that right person, it has to be a very special person.”

After Ebright was selected as a candidate and her credentials were reviewed, the choice was made a lot easier.

“She’s had joint experience, she’s a leader in contracting in the Navy community, she’s been a sub hunter in the enlisted ranks, she did flying hour programs out of San Diego for the Navy, she spent some time on the Pentagon staff and now she comes to us from the office of special projects,” said Masiello. “I think that’s a pretty broad experience. But this is what struck me about Sonya — she has an energy and positivity that is absolutely contagious. That type of leadership, facilitating, bridging and continuing the good and powerful relationships that Adm. Haven created — she’s exactly the right person to come in behind that.”

After receiving the guidon, ceremonially marking the transfer of leadership from Haven, Ebright expressed her commitment to the new position.

“DCMA International has a heritage of strong leadership, outstanding teamwork, superb customer support and I am truly proud and excited about the next years and know that we will continue to succeed,” she said. “The men and women of this command have met all the challenges through determination and dedication. I am confident that this same determination and dedication will carry us through the challenges that lie ahead. Gen. Masiello, I am ready to lead International, thank you.”