A joint strategic distribution officer in the Defense Logistics Agency Logistics Operations U.S. Transportation Command Support Division has been selected for a top Air Force logistics award.
Air Force Lt. Col. Breck Woodard was named the 2013 Air Force Logistics Readiness Staff Officer of the Year for his accomplishments in the division, known as DLA-T, at DLA Headquarters and his efforts during a deployment to the U.S. Central Command Deployment Distribution Operations Center. This is the second such award for Woodard, who was named the Air Force Logistics Readiness Field Grade Officer of the Year in 2006.
“It’s a very humbling experience,” Woodard said. “I’m not a big fan of individual awards. I understand that they have to be done, but you can’t win an award like this without having the support of leadership and being surrounded by such a great team.”
Woodard came to DLA in July 2012 and deployed to the CDDOC in mid-August 2013. During his deployment, Woodard was responsible for establishing and leading a division involved in the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. In her nomination of Woodard for the award, Air Force Col. Emily Buckman, division chief of DLA-T, praised him for melding 24 joint service personnel into a cohesive team and honing retrograde processes to support the military. Woodard created the first mobile Afghanistan joint task force with CDDOC, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and 1st Theater Sustainment Command, which helped synchronize and support five base closures. His vision guided the creation of an analysis tool to maximize the use of airlift capabilities and crafted a plan to rapidly clear the forward operating bases of excess material. Due to his efforts in maximizing airlift use, 4,100 Soldiers were removed from the roads within the first 40 days of his deployment, protecting them from security threats, Buckman wrote. Woodard was also instrumental in the closure planning of the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, the transfer from U.S. control of four Iraqi bases, coordinating transportation across the Pakistani borders, and reducing the theater footprint by 8,000 personnel and 152,000 pieces of equipment during the award period.
“I was given an opportunity to go to [USCENTCOM] forward, establish a theater retrograde division from scratch – we built it from the ground up – and then make great things happen,” Woodard said. “So that was an opportunity that was handed to me that was just amazing. Because of my leaders and my team, we were able to think outside the box and just run at full speed to get after some amazing things.”
During his time at DLA-T, which is also covered by the award, Woodard worked closely on DLA’s retrograde mission in Afghanistan. Buckman credited him with helping optimize DLA’s global transportation structure and identifying $424 million in savings. He was also picked to streamline USCENTCOM’s $1 billion local purchase and ground movement program, where he saved $19 million in excess costs. He was involved in the effort to use return flights from supplying subsistence materials in Afghanistan to transport 38 million pounds of retrograde material and in the planning effort to destroy theater hazardous material.
As part of DLA-T, Woodard said, he works directly with USTRANSCOM to resolve distribution challenges for DLA’s supply chains. Before coming to DLA, he worked on the assistant secretary of the Air Force’s staff in the Pentagon. Woodard is leaving DLA in June to be the deputy mission support group commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, but said he is proud of his accomplishments while at DLA.
“There are two things that I had when I won the award in 2006 and there are two things that I had when I was here in 2013,” he said. “I have very supportive bosses. They gave me vision, they gave me room to run, and they were just very supportive. And I have an outstanding team. I had an amazing team at the USCENTCOM DDOC of outstanding professionals who gave great ideas and made things happen. It’s the same thing here in DLA-T. I work with an amazing group of transportation professionals.”
Air Force Lt. Col. Breck Woodard, shown here in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 2013, was named the 2013 Air Force Logistics Readiness Staff Officer of the Year. Courtesy photo