New leader takes helm of DLA Aviation at Oklahoma City

  • Published
  • By Amy Perry, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

The Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Oklahoma City team welcomed their new commander during a change of command ceremony June 6 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Sean Tyler, DLA Aviation commander, oversaw the ceremony where Air Force Lt. Col. Katrina Smith took charge of the DLA Aviation industrial support activity from Air Force Col. Robert Magee. Brig. Gen. Brian Moore, commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Tinker Air Force Base, also attended the event.

The date of the ceremony coincided with the 80th anniversary commemorating D-Day landings in 1944, which Tyler called one of the “most sacred and significant days in U.S. military history.”

“I mention it mainly because I learned recently that 13 years ago today, Col. Magee, to my left, was jumping into Normandy on the 67th D-day anniversary,” he said. “It's a fact that doesn't surprise me, as ‘Mags’ certainly leaped right into action when he assumed command here in July of 2022.”

Since then, Tyler said DLA Aviation has benefitted from Magee’s exceptional talents while leading the team there.

“Mags has truly emboldened an already strong – and made it stronger – culture here in Oklahoma City with the DLA team through continuous emphasis on people and their ideas for improvement,” he said. “His ‘Every Voice Matters’ theme earned buy-in at the grassroots of the organization, as evidenced by 14 different process improvement initiatives that saved DoD and the taxpayers more than half a million dollars.”

During his time in command, Magee drove the creation of Aviation’s first Transformation Division, where a team focused on process and safety improvements from feedback from other employees. Tyler said Magee’s priorities never wavered from supporting the ALC mission, taking care of his team, and establishing conditions for future success.

“I watched from our Aviation Headquarters in Richmond as you all – our DLA Aviation team here at Tinker – dedicated countless hours advocating for solutions, setting the stage for improved supportability, and pushing the envelope of possibility to ensure our support is always readily available,” Tyler said. “It’s clear that a great leader can accomplish a lot in two years’ time. Mags, you leave a permanent mark of excellence on this organization and its people. I thank you for your strong leadership, humility, care and service to our Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency.”

Following his remarks, Tyler presented Magee with the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his “leadership and dedication” to warfighter parts supportability at Tinker, before turning the microphone over to the outgoing commander.

Magee opened his comments by sharing the same two-word phrase he first uttered when taking charge of the unit in July 2022: “People Matter.”

“I was at this very same podium, and I looked up and saw 20 people,” he said, sharing a vignette from his COVID-era assumption of command ceremony. “All the chairs were there, (but) they were all empty. None of them I knew, no family, no friends. It was a bit alarming.

“It’s changed now,” Magee continued. “I look out, and I see the amazing leader and general (who) was with me on that stage who stayed and wanted to see me off. But I look across to every one of these faces, I know (them) now. I see family. I see friends. I see teammates. And when I say people matter, you made me feel like I mattered. So, thank you very much.”

Magee took time to thank Tyler for his leadership along with several others in the Oklahoma City footprint he served with during his tenure.

“To my DLA teammates, I extend to you my deepest gratitude,” he said. “Your tireless dedication, selfless service and unwavering commitment to supporting the warfighter have been the driving force behind our success. It was never me. It was all of you. I was just excited to watch it happen.”

Up next for Magee is an assignment as the 6th Mission Support Group commander at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

Fresh off an assignment as the deputy commander of the 31st Mission Support Group at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Smith is well suited to take the reins of the DLA Aviation presence in Oklahoma City, Tyler said.

“Kat brings with her a set of impeccable credentials as a shining star in the logistics community,” Tyler said. “Kat, my charge to you is very simple. It is to be bold, always keep the ALC mission at the forefront, and continue to care for the entire DLA team here at Tinker Air Force Base. I wish you the best of luck.”

Smith, who has been selected for the rank of colonel and will pin soon, said she was excited to join the amazing team at Oklahoma City.

“Gen. Tyler, thank you for the trust and confidence placed in me with this position; it is always a humbling experience to be selected for command, and it is a privilege and responsibility that I do not take lightly,” she said. “DLA Aviation at Oklahoma City is a well-respected and credible organization serving the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and warfighters across the globe. We will remain a warfighter-focused organization dedicated to readiness and quality customer service. As Col. Magee departs, he leaves behind a strong legacy that we will build upon for continued mission success.”