Past squadron commander returns to GA to lead DLA Aviation at Warner Robins

  • Published
  • By Cathy Hopkins
  • DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation employees and Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex senior leaders gathered June 21, at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, to welcome Air Force Col. Brian Mayer as the new DLA Aviation at Warner Robins commander.

DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford officiated the ceremony.

Sanford recognized the outgoing commander Air Force Col. Todd Bean, in his absence, for his tremendous leadership, dedication, teamwork and just plain hard work over the last three years. 

“Colonel Bean was part of a great Robins Aviation team.” Sanford said. “He is off to be the 18th Air Force director of logistics, where his leadership and teamwork are needed to keep the aging bomber fleet operationally ready to answer the National Command Authority’s call. Even though he and I talked last week, I want to publicly wish him the best and please know that his leadership made a difference.” Bean left in early June for his next assignment as the director of logistics, Air Forces Strategic Command, Joint Global Strike Operations Center, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

Sanford then welcomed Mayer and his wife, Stephanie, to the DLA Aviation family.

“I have known Brian for the last five years and he is no stranger to Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex … I believe he is the right leader, at the right time, to advance the agency’s strategic plan and improve service readiness,” he said.

Mayer’s assumption of command was a return to Robin’s Air Force Base.  He previously commanded the 402nd Commodities Maintenance Support Squadron on the base from 2011-2013.

Sanford spoke to the audience about the critical job DLA has in managing the global supply chain that allows the joint force to operate freely and unimpeded.

“[Brian]You have just come from the pointy edge of the spear and can appreciate the warfighter’s need and you will inject a new perspective into DLA, honed by your last tours in Iraq and Kuwait,” Sanford said. “However, you will also have to work through different challenges such as constrained working capital funds, the lingering effects of COVID-19, and our ongoing battles with diminishing sources of supply.  We will need innovative thinking, out-of-the-box problem solving, and a collaborative approach to be successful.”

Before coming to DLA, Mayer served as the commander of the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Group, Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait where he led an integrated group of active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve personnel and civilian contractors.  His team provided maintenance and munitions supporting U.S. aircraft as well as transient and coalition aircraft for Operation Inherent Resolve and other U. S. Central Command missions.

Sanford told the audience; we need all the readiness we can get in the hands of our warfighters to ensure our nation projects rapid and agile capabilities and has a range of options to defend ourselves and our allies.

He said in Mayer we have found that leader, “He has done all the right things throughout his career to prepare himself for this tremendous responsibility and opportunity.”

Sanford told Mayer a key command leadership skill is relationship building and challenged him to continue to build relationships through collaboration—with employees, union representatives, and support providers—and to foster an environment of mission-oriented productivity.

“It is important to remember you and your team are part of a bigger team—and the larger Aviation enterprise is here to support you. You provide the signals to drive what we buy, how fast we buy, and where our priorities lie,” he said. “Your voice is the voice of the customer, and the folks in Richmond will listen to you and assist in providing you with what you need to deliver warfighter solutions.” 

As Mayer took the stage, he told the team it is an honor and privilege to be their commander, promising to serve with unwavering dedication to duty, mission focused, integrity, hard work and determination.

“We remain the most dominant military force in the world, but we must fight to continue to hold that position; to do that, we must be ready,” Mayer said as he pledged his loyalty, support, and leadership to overcome the challenges they will face.

“I look forward to working with an exceptional team, as we constantly strive to move forward making a great team better every day,” he said.

Sanford left Mayer and his team with these parting thoughts, “Remember warfighter always. They are the reason we exist. We are trusted mission partners, and our customers count on us delivering on our promises on time. Commit to relentlessly finding smarter ways to do things…improve on current processes. Achieve retail excellence through teamwork and strategic engagements. Be inclusive…foster a culture of respect and accountability…ensure good communication at all levels and root out those disruptors that prevent our organization from achieving all it can achieve.”