DSCC named top installation by Secretary of Defense (2024)

COLUMBUS, Ohio–

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III named Defense Supply Center Columbus as one of six installations to receive the 2024 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence.

The winning installations were announced in a Defense.gov news release July 1.

The Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence recognizes the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations. The recipients of this highly competitive presidential award were selected for their exemplary support of Department of Defense missions during Fiscal Year 2023.

Kenneth Watson, deputy commander for DSCC and Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, said the magnitude of this presidential recognition cannot be understated. “It’s a reflection of the standard we’ve set here in Columbus and continue to maintain.”

“We’re grateful to our Installation Management team for enabling us every day to accomplish the mission and for taking such good care of our workforce,” he added.

The Army Expeditionary Civilian Workforce alongside Defense Logistics Agency senior leaders and the family of Stephen Byus officially opened the Stephen Byus Central Issue Facility Warehouse June 8, 2023, during a memorialization ceremony at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. On hand for the plaque unveiling were (from left) DLA Land and Maritime Deputy Commander Kenneth Watson, DLA Vice Director Brad Bunn and Matthew Byus, Stephen’s brother. (Photo by Kristin Molinaro/DLA Land and Maritime)

Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime maintains operational control of the 520 acre installation and includes state, federal and defense organizations such as the Ohio Army National Guard Regional Training Institute, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and the Veterans Administration co-located near the site.

Military installations compete on how well they perform in several support functions, including mission support, energy conservation, quality of life, environmental stewardship, safety, health, security, real property management, command initiatives, competitive activities and public relations.

Kristine Freels, DLA Installation Management – Columbus site director, said her team frequently operates behind the scenes managing and maintaining support services. “It’s truly an honor to all of the folks who work at Installation Management, not only today but for our leaders from the past as well who set the stage to allow us to do what we’re doing and giving us this beautiful base that we have,” she said.

DSCC excelled in all areas in FY23, proactively pursuing energy conservation, security, environmental and resiliency measures to benefit the installation’s tenants and nearly 8,000 personnel. DLA Land and Maritime ensured DSCC’s sustained excellence across a wide range of installation support functions while executing its complex global logistics mission in support of U.S. military forces.

A butterfly count was held at Defense Supply Center Columbus’ north prairie Sept. 13, 2023. The prairie habitat located just west of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Building 330, near the north perimeter, continuously blooms from about July to the end of September. (Photo by Arthur Hylton/DSCC)

Notable conservation accomplishments included re-certification as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Eagle Eye Golf Course’s designation as a Monarchs in the Rough official habitat, and DSCC’s selection to receive Secretary of Defense funding for a pilot project under the DOD Legacy Program to improve installation climate resilience. The installation was the only DLA site and one of only ten Defense Department sites selected for funding, which will be used to improve stormwater management by adapting several existing basins into constructed wetlands to combat flooding and erosion caused by climate change.

DSCC made strides in energy conservation by reducing the installation’s electricity consumption for the second year in a row. In partnership with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, the installation is working to design and construct a 1-Megawatt solar array with energy storage capacity. This project is intended as the first of a multi-phase plan to provide an installation-wide solar microgrid. Other energy initiatives include solar water heater installation, waterline improvements and physical security upgrades.

In the areas of safety and security, DSCC partnered with internal and external organizations to facilitate several exercises including a base-wide active shooter response to test emergency procedures and measure the workforce’s response to a crisis event.

Defense Logistics Agency Police Lt. Richard Holmes, Sgt. Robert McCusker and fellow police officers conduct a systematic sweep of the DLA Land and Maritime Operations Center during an active shooter exercise Aug. 17, 2023. Defense Supply Center Columbus conducted the exercise to test the installation’s emergency response procedures. The exercise demonstrated the knowledge and skills of DSCC first responders as well as that of its law enforcement partners displaying their joint command and control capabilities and operational support during an emergency. (Photo by Arthur Hylton/DSCC)

The DLA Land and Maritime Safety and Occupational Health Program Office coordinated a Safety Stand Down for Installation Management maintenance personnel to refresh their focus on safety. Notably, the office also revamped the DLA Land and Maritime Quarterly Safety and Occupational Health Council format to foster leadership involvement; completed a comprehensive safety training gap analysis; recommenced a medical services contract to facilitate more than 270 occupational health physicals; supported a large influx of ergonomic assessments; met safety equipment needs and completed 100 percent of the operational workplace safety inspections.

DSCC leadership had a strong presence in the greater central Ohio community during FY23. DSCC’s Commanding General, Army Brig. Gen. Gail Atkins, participated in the televised citywide Columbus Veterans Day Parade and served as keynote speaker for the Memorial Day Ceremony in Bexley, Ohio, continuing the installation’s longstanding commitment to honoring the nation’s fallen through participation in local military observances.

The year saw a resurgence of in-person events and cultural programming as DLA emerged from COVID-19 health pandemic protocols. DSCC’s culture was enhanced through in-person events which not only revitalized social bonds but helped to rekindle a sense of unity and resilience within the community.DSCC hosted several installation-wide events including a holiday open house, Halloween trunk or treat, and spring Easter egg hunt. Monthly special emphasis program observances promoted cultural understanding and resilience, featuring speakers such as regional television personalities, families of Holocaust survivors, community leaders and military personnel.

Army Brig. Gen. Gail Atkins and Bexley Mayor Benn Kessler lay a wreath at the base of Bexley, Ohio’s World War II Memorial May 29, 2023. Atkins, commander of the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime and Defense Supply Center Columbus, delivered keynote remarks at the city’s Memorial Day observance. Bexley is located a few miles from the neighboring DSCC military installation in Central Ohio. (Photo by Arthur Hylton/DSCC)

The DSCC Child Development Center supported families and students with high quality childcare and education throughout FY23 and achieved National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation. Notably, the center grew outreach efforts related to natural resource conservation and sustainability education for its preschool students through its Sensory Garden. Students learned about the world around them while planting and caring for the garden, learning resiliency while observing the behavior of the plants from garden to harvest.

The award-winning staff of the DSCC Public Affairs Office highlighted and marketed historical events ranging from the dedication and opening of the Stephen Byus Central Issue Facility Warehouse at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, to operational events like the installation-wide active shooter exercise. The office documented the involvement of a group of DSCC employees who assisted families at one of the region’s largest foodbanks, the installation police department’s ongoing collaboration with local law enforcement, and a three-part series on the Expeditionary Civilian Deployment program.

As a winning installation, DSCC will receive a commemorative trophy, flag and congratulatory letter from the President.

Other winners are U.S. Army Garrison Fort Cavazos, Texas; Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina; Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida and Alabama; Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho; and Patrick Space Force Base, Florida.

About DLA Land and Maritime

Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, headquartered on DSCC, is the Defense Department’s supply chain manager for land and sea-based weapon systems and maintains operational control of DSCC. The installation has provided logistics support to American forces in every major military engagement since World War I. DLA Land and Maritime manages almost 2.5 million spare and repair parts and supports more than 2,000 weapon systems and more than 21,000 customers throughout the military services, civil agencies, and other Department of Defense organizations. In FY23, DLA Land and Maritime's sales exceeded $4.4 billion.

DSCC named top installation by Secretary of Defense (2024)
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