CORPUS CHRISTI ARMY DEPOT, Texas - Amidst the sounds of "Ruffles and Flourishes" being played in the background by the 323rd Army Band "Fort Sam's Own", official party members walked down the center aisle surrounded by more than 300 guests to begin the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) change of command ceremony July 20, 2018.
Colonel Allan Lanceta relinquished command to Col. Gail Atkins after 24 months of serving as CCAD commander. Lanceta also retired after 27 years of military service during a retirement ceremony following the change of command.
Atkins brings more than 20 years of aviation experience to CCAD. Her previous assignment was as the force support division chief, Joint Staff, J-8, at the Pentagon.
"There is, simply, no other place like CCAD," said Atkins as she remarked on her new beginning as commander. Enamored by CCAD's diversity and rich history, she acknowledged the more than 3300 employees who work tirelessly to support Army aviation readiness worldwide.
"The capability and capacity of CCAD has a rich legacy that cannot be realized or cultivated without phenomenal people," said Atkins.
Atkins said employees become phenomenal people when placed under good leadership like Lanceta.
"Units like this don't thrive without the right leader to take it to the next level. Allan Lanceta has been that leader and provided an important vision at a critical time in the Depot's history," said Atkins.
Part of that vision was the implementation of many new strategic and innovative programs to modernize the depot and increase the production in support of the warfighter.
"(Lanceta) leveraged organizational changes, business processes, and cultural changes, which dramatically improved the effectiveness of CCAD and aviation readiness for the Army," said Maj. Gen. Douglas Gabram, commander, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and ceremonial guest speaker.
These new programs and processes included the Art of the Probable - a system based on finding new efficient processes and procedures to enhance production levels; creating a campaign plan to guide the depot's directorates in eliminating constraints while increasing product flow; and bring in a digital approach to the depot logistics called the Complex Assembly Manufacturing Solution (CAMS).
Lanceta said, while challenging at times, the introduction of the programs, "offered great opportunities to ensure we move forward into the digital world where we can see ourselves and ensure we are transparent."
Moving forward into the future meant capitalizing on successes, such as employee resiliency when faced with unseen or foreseen obstacles, said Lanceta. He saw this during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and congratulate the employees on a job well done.
"Hurricane Harvey swept through the depot causing millions of dollars in damage, we regrouped, rebuilt and still returned 41 of 41 helicopters back to our Army and Air Force, and over 31,000 components back to our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and allied services," added Lanceta.
Lanceta continued to his successes as commander to his staff, the depot directors and most importantly, the employees, who Lanceta calls "artisans."
"To each artisan, you are the backbone of our organization. Without your hard work, we would only be a set of ideas. You are what makes me proud," said Lanceta.
Lanceta offered her words of encouragement, future support and the support of a great team to help guide Atkins as she prepares for the next 24 months. She is thankful for the opportunity to serve as commander and will strive to build on CCAD's legacy.
"I'm humbled that I've been picked to be a member of this team. I'm committed to its continued success. And I will work every day to ensure we are postured to support the Warfighters to always fight and win," said Atkins.
Gabram agreed saying Atkins experience with resourcing and supply chain management will be invaluable for future accomplishments.
Lanceta's final words of the ceremony were to his family, who he thanked for their love and support throughout his career. He especially thanked his wife, Karen, for their time together.
"Thank you for your love, support and counsel through the many years. You make me a better person and none of this is possible without you," Lanceta said.