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Face of Defense: Contracts Manager Retires After 38 Years

By Debra R. Bingham
Special to American Forces Press Service

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, Nov. 23, 2009 – There's a pair of shoes at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base that will be hard to fill. They once belonged to Pamela Day, who retired last week after 38 years of federal service.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Pamela Day, who retired Nov. 19 after 38 years of civilian service with the military, most recently as director of Depot-Level Reparable Procurement Operations for Defense Logistics Agency Ogden, speaks to family, friends and co-workers during her retirement ceremony at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Air Force photo by James Arrowood
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Day, who most recently served as director of depot-level reparable procurement operations for Defense Logistics Agency-Ogden, was recognized during a Nov. 19 retirement ceremony at Hill Aerospace Museum.

“Finding a professional contracting manager who is Pam’s equal in federal government will be difficult, to say the least,” said Yvette Burke, acquisition executive for DLA’s aviation demand and supply chain, Defense Supply Center Richmond, Va. DLA Ogden is the forward arm of the Richmond supply center at Hill. “Her knowledge, experience, dedication and enthusiastic approach have been invaluable assets throughout her career, and they have been of immeasurable benefit to the warfighters she dedicated her life to supporting.”

Burke praised Day for her leadership and willingness to take on challenging missions and accomplish them based on her understanding and steadfast support of America’s military men and women.

“After all, the first breath Pam ever took in this world was on a military installation,” Burke said, noting that Day was born at Alameda Naval Station in California while her father served in the Navy. “But at heart, Pam is a Utah girl through and through—she was raised in Clinton, graduated from Clearfield High School, and earned her undergraduate degree from Weber State and Park College.”

Day began working for the federal government as a supply clerk at the Bureau of Reclamation in 1971 and later became a purchasing agent. Recalling that first job and her subsequent Air Force career, Day said, “I learned that it takes longer to process an environmental statement than it does to complete a source selection – amazing.”

In 1976, Day entered the contracting field and began working for the Air Force at Hill, where she has been ever since. She has served in a variety of positions, including contract negotiator; contracting officer; chief of the commodities, services and construction branches in operational contracting; chief of the aircraft contracting division; and as chief of contracting for the aircraft and commodities sustainment wings.

Day distinguished herself on numerous successful department programs, including her work on the Simplified Acquisition of Base Engineering Requirements contract – a pilot program – and the $450 million, multiple-award Remedial Action Contract program. She was an instrumental leader in the A-76 Consolidated Study involving 1,200 full-time employees at Ogden Air Logistics Center. Day played a key role in the $13 billion F-16 Sustainment Contract, managed the first strategic sourcing contract at Hill, and supervised the Decentralized Design Engineering Support Contract – a complex multiple-award contract with involvement from multiple Air Force sites.

“Pam was a key player in the $1.2 billion Secondary Power Logistics Solution, Hill Air Force Base’s first performance-based logistics contract,” Burke said. “And, most recently, Pam was actively involved in and supervised the administration of the incredibly innovative $1.5 billion Landing Gear Prime Vendor Contract, an enterprise solution used by both DLA and the Air Force to support the worldwide sustainment of landing gear.”

Day was hard pressed to pick a favorite assignment, but said she enjoyed working construction and environmental contracts. “F-16 [Sustainment Contract] was at the top of my list. I love being challenged, but also being able to see something from beginning to a successful end,” she said.

Day played a key role in the standup of DLA Ogden, which came out of 2005 Base Realignment and Closure law calling for the transfer of supply, storage and distribution and depot-level reparable procurement operations from the military services to DLA.

“DLA Ogden was activated with minimal difficulty and without impact to customers or employees. The standup went off without a hitch thanks in large part to her management and procurement expertise,” Burke said.

Under Day’s leadership, Burke said, the organization has shown exemplary performance through its 17 months of operations – including two successful year-end closeouts.

“Her keen oversight of Ogden DLR operations resulted in continuous improvements in procurement lead times and overall strategic performance – one of the primary visions of BRAC,” Burke said.

Day worked closely with the Air Force to combine procurement efforts, find more savings for the taxpayers and improve DLA performance to keep warfighters flying – and landing – safely.

That sentiment was echoed by Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrew Busch, Ogden Air Logistics Center commander.

“The Air Force and DLA could not have successfully transferred the DLR procurement functions as part of BRAC without Pam's engaged leadership,” Busch said. “Ogden was the first of the five DLR procurement sites that Ms. Burke transferred to the aviation demand and supply chain, and Pam's willingness to partner with DLA and work through tough issues was the foundation for the sustained success of the transfer process.”

Busch was commander of Defense Supply Center Richmond when Day joined the DLA team, but he knew about her reputation of excellence long before that.

“Pam is widely respected within the Air Force and brought with her a huge amount of credibility that was needed to convince the Ogden team that DLA was a trustworthy partner on this BRAC challenge,” Busch said.

In the course of her career, Day was named Air Force Materiel Command’s Contingency Contracting Officer of the Year, AFMC Professional Contracting Officer of the Year, Ogden ALC Manager of the Year, Ogden ALC Civilian of the Quarter and Civilian of the Year, and earned the Spirit of the American Woman Professional Award.

During her retirement ceremony, Day was able to add some final awards to the list. Busch presented Day with the Air Force's Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award; Burke presented her with the DLA Distinguished Career Service Award, a Silver Letter from the DLA director, Navy Vice Adm. Alan Thompson, and the Aviation Demand and Supply Chain Commander's Plaque.

Despite her success, Day was humble when it came to taking credit for her accomplishments.

“The job isn’t about me – it’s about the mission, and if that isn’t your focus, you’ll make decisions for the wrong reasons, which could lead to poor results. Fortunately, I learned that really early in my career,” she said.

(Debra R. Bingham works for Defense Supply Center-Richmond public affairs.)

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