Colonial Heights native returns to command DLA Aviation
By Ashley McLeod, Staff Writer
Mar 15, 2013, 13:10
CAITLIN DAVIS/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Brigadier Gen. (select) Mark Johnson, a Colonial Heights native, right, accepts the colors from Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek, director of DLA, during a change of command ceremony for DLA Aviation.
After 27 years, Brigadier Gen. (select) Mark Johnson, a Colonial Heights native, has returned to the area to lead DLA Aviation, a major military operation in Chesterfield that supplies parts and other items.
“You couldn’t ask for a better opportunity,” Johnson said of the post.
DLA Aviation is the supply and demand manager for the Defense Logistics Agency, which helps with many services, such as providing green products, maintenance for industrial machinery, engine components, as well as maps and other products. In 2012, DLA Aviation served 18,060 customers, and generated $4.4 billion in sales.
The ceremony took place at the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center, in front of a crowd of both employees and civilians. The post, previously held by Brigadier Gen. Scott Jansson, is one that Johnson feels honored to take.
“To be able to be the commander of this great organization, which adds so much to the community, is just a real thrill,” Johnson said. “It’s really difficult to put in words how honored and privileged I am to be here.”
During the change of command ceremony, Johnson told the crowd that he understood the uncertainty of someone new assuming the post, but that he vowed to spend more time listening than talking.
Johnson also assured the crowd that the change would not be too different from when Jansson was in the position.
“Despite the change, I’m quite confident that many things will not change. Most importantly, I know that you will continue to do what you do best,” said Johnson.
CAITLIN DAVIS/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT It is part of the command change tradition to present the wife of the new commanding officer with flowers.
Johnson attended Colonial Heights high school, and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute, and is also the grandson of the first DLA director, Lt. Gen. Andrew T. McNamara.
Johnson told the crowd how important it was to work through challenges together, and to help one another out, ending the ceremony on a positive note,