Two logisticians working for the Aviation and Missile Command's Logistics Center were recognized for excellence in support of Soldiers during the 26th annual Ernest A. Young Logistics Achievement Award luncheon on Nov. 16 at Redstone Arsenal.

Wayne "Tom" Ray was recognized as the top logistician in the Management/Executive category and Shannon McNatt was recognized as the best in the Professional/Technical category.

Ray, who supports Letterkenny (Pennsylvania) and Corpus Christi (Texas) Army depots, has been a member of ALC's Industrial Operations Directorate for four years.

"I'm very humbled to have come from industry to work with such a great group of folks. Their stories of service are inspiring," Ray said.

"I'm humbled to support and be part of the collaboration. My success is only at the hands of the people who work with me, who encourage me and empower me. I'm so grateful."

Other ALC employees nominated in the Management/Executive category were: Sara Northcutt, Supply Chain Management Directorate and Terri Schwierling, Aviation Directorate.

McNatt works for ALC's Business Management Directorate, ensuring that support agreements are in place for ALC operations.

"I'm shocked, but I am glad I can provide the support. I am thankful and appreciative," she said.

Other ALC employees nominated in the Professional/Technical category were: Seth Cole, Aviation Directorate; Miesha Spann, Supply Chain Management Directorate; and Darren Wagner, Logistics Support Directorate.

The Ernest A. Young Logistics Achievement Awards recognize ALC employees who have provided outstanding service in the field of logistics support, made notable contributions to the efficiency and quality of logistical support while demonstrating excellence and professionalism in his or her assigned duties.

"We are honoring some of our very finest logisticians," said Renee' Mosher, ALC's acting executive director, referring to the nominees.

"We are honoring each of you for exceptional service. Each of you should be very proud of your accomplishments."

The award program began in 1991 to recognize logisticians who support Soldiers, said guest speaker Jim Flinn, who was the award recipient in 1997 and who retired as AMCOM's deputy to the commander.

"You are the best of the best. You are the ones continuing the legacy," Flinn told the nominees.

While Veterans Day and other patriotic events as well as several awards programs honor and pay tribute to the Army's Soldiers, Flinn said "there is another group that deserves similar recognition. At the time we started this award, there was no real way to say thank you to the men and women who served those who served. Professional logisticians are also put in 'harm's way' to make sure Soldiers are well supplied, well trained and well prepared."

Logisticians were in Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield in August 1990, with one logistician and his wife kidnapped and held as human shields for 30 days. When Iraqis decided to fire Scud missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia, Patriot missile system logisticians were there to ensure the system's new capabilities shot down those Scud missiles.

"At the same time, we were in meetings here at Redstone Arsenal discussing the process of logistically accepting Patriot capabilities and sending them to U.S. Patriot batteries," Flinn said.

During those trying days, the Patriot missile "item manager" was none other than retired Gen. Colin Powell, then the U.S. Secretary of State.

"We were given direction straight from Colin Power as to where the Patriot would be stationed. He would tell us this one goes there and that one goes there," Flinn recalled.

There was a lot of discussion in those days also about supply chain management as Redstone logisticians, who worked at AMCOM's predecessor the Missile Command, were moving supplies "into the middle of nothing but sand with no logistics base and no transportation base. We made sure every part got to where it was supposed to be."

Logisticians were in Mogadishu, Somalia, during the "Black Hawk Down" days, relying on the first satellite phones to communicate with support personnel at Redstone. During the Somalia attack, "the supply chain was working that night," Flinn said.

And, on 9/11, as AMCOM welcomed new leadership, the attack on the Pentagon kept leadership scrambling to discover if any AMCOM logisticians had been killed in the attack or endangered when they were left stranded.

"The Afghanistan invasion was another supply chain management challenge," Flinn said. "It was all desert, no port. We were trying to resupply where there was no resupply chain. Iraq and Kuwait were similar. We were deploying Patriot and trying to keep up logistically with maintenance equipment and parts."

In 1991, the logistics award was named after Ernest Young because of his expertise with logistics and management style. Flinn said. Young, who was the award's first recipient, was in the audience for the 2017 awards.

"He gave us the latitude to go in and do what he charged us to do and he held us accountable," Flinn said.

"What he did is still a challenge to leadership today. The role of leadership has to enable employees, empower employees. Leadership should give them the mission and then get out of the way."

Award winner Ray's experience with both the commercial and organic industrial base, and abilities in building coalitions led to many achievements at both Letterkenny and Corpus Christi Army depots. Of particular note, Ray's efforts to implement the Art of the Probable has transformed the way CCAD plans and performs it recapitalization mission for UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. AoP has greatly improved predictive, left-of-induction processes and logistics capabilities across the full spectrum of operations at CCAD. By incorporating industry-caliber tools and techniques, many of which were developed by, AoP has reshaped CCAD's internal organization, creating a "Planning Machine" to support the "Production Machine," enabling enhanced cost schedule controls, performance trend analysis, and a hybrid form of Project Portfolio Management, all of which have put CCAD on track to reduce the UH-60 RECAP repair cycle time by 222 days. Through his tireless efforts, Ray has been key in posturing CCAD to secure maintenance production of the Army's 760 UH-60V model aircraft.

Award winner McNatt was recognized for her go-to personality and her high energy, results-driven approach to supporting the mission. She has been able to form and lead teams that have proven invaluable in the execution of the ALC's support agreements. She provided subject matter expertise to the G8 Support Agreements Management Team, which completed 150 support agreements and four overarching Memoranda of Agreement in the first three months of her assignment. McNatt led the development of a database to track and report all support agreements and Inter-Service Support Agreements, completed 116 separate support agreements and the overarching MOA with the Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, with an estimated value of $625.1 million. Through her tireless efforts, McNatt led a team that captured and documented MOA's ensuring that more than 66 percent of the total ALC workforce was fully funded to carry out the full spectrum of acquisition logistics functions upon which the program executive offices and program managers are dependent.