Malec assumes command of DLA Aviation OKC


Lt. Col. James L. Malec Jr. assumed command of Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Oklahoma City during a ceremony June 23 in Bldg. 9001.

Big. Gen. Allan Day, DLA Aviation commander, praised retiring Commander Col. Kenton Ruthardt and the DLA Aviation Oklahoma City staff for major accomplishments during Ruthardt’s three years of leadership at Tinker Air Force Base.

“Our ‘why’ is to generate readiness for the warfighter,” the general said. “In Oklahoma City, you have the challenge and privilege of marshaling the people, resources and processes to improve readiness for aviation here at Tinker. I want to express my appreciation for all you’ve done to lead the men and women here. This is an amazing force. They know their mission and they do it well.”

Malec is a recent War College graduate and previously served as the chief of the Joint Petroleum Branch, Joint Staff, at the Pentagon. Previous assignments have included command of the 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron in Southwest Asia and chief of Weapons Systems Sustainment Programs in Washington, D.C.

“When my assignment was being finalized this year, my primary desire was to work for Defense Logistics Agency. That’s absolutely true,” Malec said in his remarks. “I was ecstatic to learn from the Air Force that they had matched me to a position in this great organization.”

Malec said he benefitted from DLA’s world-class supply chain and distribution expertise in combat deployments as director of operations of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in 2005 and 2006 and as commander of the 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron in 2012 and 2013.

“Those bases directly supported combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said. “Any delay in getting those critical supplies that DLA helped provide would negatively impact the warfighter, but that never happened. I thank you, the men and women who effectively came through time and time again. You made my job very easy.”

Malec said his vision for DLA Aviation at Tinker will be to “continue to deliver innovative, world-class logistical solutions through a responsive and resilient supply chain.”

The commander serves as the single DLA face to the customer for all Tinker AFB DLA organizations. He is responsible for retail-level supply, storage and distribution support to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, which includes over 600,000 customer orders annually.

Oklahoma City is one of 19 stateside DLA Aviation locations that support more than 2,000 major weapon systems and is the U.S. military’s integrated materiel manager for more than 1.2 million repair parts and operating supply items in support of all fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft.

Ruthardt, a 26-year Air Force veteran, is retiring after serving at the wing, major command and joint combatant command levels. He has previously served separately as director of logistics with United States Special Operations Command and NATO Air Training Command in Afghanistan.