New leader takes charge of DLA activity at Warner Robins

  • Published
  • By Amy Perry, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

The team from Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Warner Robins welcomed their new leader during a change of command ceremony June 28 at the Museum of Aviation here on base.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Sean Tyler, DLA Aviation commander, officiated the transfer of authority to Air Force Col. Craig Giles from Air Force Col. Brian Mayer, who celebrated his retirement during an immediately following ceremony.

The mission of DLA Aviation at Warner Robins includes overseeing more than 300 military and civilian personnel as they work to provide supply, storage and distribution of more than $120 million in material support for depot-level maintenance of 900-plus aircraft across the F-15, C-130, C-17 and C-5 fleets.

Tyler said the Georgia-based team’s success is due to Mayer focusing the workforce on innovation, data analytics and deep-dive reviews of weapon system support data.

“It’s truly the attention and emphasis on these key areas that allowed his team to help overcome readiness challenges we collectively face in keeping some of our older weapon systems in fighting shape,” he said. “For instance – and this is just one example – his leadership was critical when a cracked C-130H propeller barrel led to the grounding of more than 100 aircraft in the fleet, which meant over 300 propellers were suddenly headed into maintenance for repair.

“Brian and his team made recovery and parts support their top priority, which led to a unique bill of materials that was tracked weekly and coordinated with OEM and supply chain planners to ensure continual stock availability,” said Tyler. “Along with other actions in this effort, the big win in this was a 99% Order Response Time rate that got the fleet back on its foot approximately eight months earlier than projected when the incident occurred. Unsurprisingly, Brian was recognized with the DLA Director’s Strategic Goals award for this incredible support effort.”

Recognizing the upcoming retirement ceremony for Mayer, Tyler shared his appreciation of Mayer’s family and friends for supporting his career that started in 1989 as an airman following in his father’s footsteps, joining the service along with his three other siblings. After his enlistment, Mayer left the service briefly to earn a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama in 1998. Afterward, he rejoined the Air Force, receiving a commission through the Officer Training School.

After extolling his decades of service throughout several deployments and key commands and positions throughout the Defense Department, Tyler thanked Mayer for his service and wished him luck during his retirement.

“Brian, you’ve left a permanent mark of excellence not only on this activity and its people but also on DLA, the Air Force, DoD, our nation and our partners overseas,” Tyler said. “I thank you for your strong leadership, humility, care and service. As you retire and enter a new phase of life, I wish only the very best for you and Stephanie and that you both take some well-deserved time to relax at home, travel or do whatever brings you the most joy.”

Mayer reciprocally thanked Tyler for his own leadership over the past few years and then recognized his team for their accomplishments and overall excellence.

“I've been honored to have the privilege to be your commander,” he said. “In my assumption of command speech three years ago, I talked about the difficult environment the U.S. finds itself in. It's constantly evolving at a remarkable pace from a distinctive advantage over our enemies to China and Russia, who are closing that gap, from non-state actors to Iranian aggression. The DLA Aviation mission described our obligation to the warfighter well.

“Sustain warfighter readiness and lethality by delivering proactive global logistics, in peace or war,” Mayer continued. “I planned this was going to be my focus for the time I was in command. We needed to be part of a team to help close that readiness gap for our nation. I asked you to focus on supplying aircraft readiness safely and by the book when there was no book to write the book. What I quickly learned was just what a great team you were, and all I had to do really was keep challenging you and sit back and watch in awe as you worked miracles to keep aircraft production lines moving.”

Although the DLA Aviation at Warner Robins team had one great leader departing, Tyler said the team was lucky to have an exceptional officer taking charge.

“Craig brings with him his own set of impeccable credentials, coming to Warner Robins from the other side of the country where he commanded the 92nd Maintenance Group at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington state,” he said. “There, he was in charge of more than 1,100 Airmen and Civilians, two squadrons responsible for the maintenance of 61 KC-135s, a $16 million budget, $250 million in equipment, 33 buildings and an 84-vehicle fleet. He also impressively holds three master’s degrees – one in Aviation Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical College, one in Military Art and Science from Army Command and Staff College, and one in Strategic Studies from the Air War College.

“Craig, you’re obviously done some tremendous things in your career – highly experienced, strong leader, highly educated and well-suited to take over this high-performing organization,” Tyler continued. “I have no doubt Craig is ready for the challenges ahead, just like I know this incredible DLA activity … is ready to continue its long-standing record of excellence well into the future.”

After joking about being “not nearly as smart as the general made” him out to be, Giles said he was thrilled to be back in the Warner Robins area.

“My wife and I were here about 10 years ago, and we started talking about retiring, wanting a place to settle down in and put some roots in,” Giles said. “This is the first time I’ve been back to a base I’ve been stationed at before, so I’m a repeat customer. We chose to come here, and that should tell you a lot.”

Giles also said he wants to make a difference and help the services prepare for future wars, and that he looks forward to doing that with his DLA Aviation at Warner Robins team.