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Coast Guard acquisition excellence honored at DHS awards ceremony


Among the attendees at the Fiscal Year 2023 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Honorary Acquisition Program Management Awards are, from left: Debra Cox, executive director of the DHS Office of Program Accountability and Risk Management; Rear Adm. Chad Jacoby, Coast Guard assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer; and Joseph Wawro, executive director of the DHS Joint Requirements Council. DHS photo.

Six members of the Coast Guard workforce were honored for superior performance during fiscal year 2023 with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Honorary Acquisition Program Management Awards. The annual awards recognize individuals and teams who have demonstrated the highest level of professional excellence in attaining acquisition program success.

Honored at the ceremony for their dedication to their programs and their innovative techniques for handling challenges and improving processes were:

  • Lt. Cmdr. Beau C. Belanger, Acquisition Program Manager of the Year.
  • Barbara Reithmaier, Acquisition Program Support Professional of the Year.
  • Jason Westmeyer, Cost Estimator of the Year.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Sapiano, Life Cycle Logistician of the Year.
  • Delphine Woltz, Information Technology Professional of the Year.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Katrian Hernandez, Requirements Manager of the Year.

Recipients from throughout DHS were recognized by R.D. Alles, acting under secretary for management, during a ceremony hosted by the Office of Program Accountability and Risk Management at the Transportation Security Agency Headquarters in Springfield, Virginia, on May 16, 2024. “Every year we have new challenges, some last, some are short-term,” Alles said. “As the (chief acquisition officer) for the department, I recognize the critical role that you play in acquisition for our department and for getting capabilities into the hands of those operators that need that capability to actually do their mission.”

Acquisition Program Manager of the Year

Belanger served as the program manager for the Long Range Command and Control Aircraft (LRCCA) Program. He was recognized for his outstanding performance while serving as the sole permanently assigned full-time employee on the $70 million program. His efforts led to the delivery of a Federal Aviation Administration-certified C-37B aircraft ahead of schedule and $1.8 million under budget while meeting all key performance parameters.

Additionally, Belanger built a robust matrix team to navigate the cyber risk management framework to obtain a three-year authority to operate (ATO) for all network systems, marking the first-ever Coast Guard asset to receive a “nose to tail” ATO. The LRCCA provides worldwide secure command and control transport capabilities for Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security leadership, ensuring continuity of operations and access during national emergencies.

Acquisition Program Support Professional of the Year

Reithmaier is a contract specialist who provides direct support to the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems for the National Security Cutter Program. She was recognized for her outstanding coordination of contract requirements and industry engagement, releasing two requests for information that resulted in the receipt of 31 industry responses. She also developed a multi-year strategic plan for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance service contract requirements.

Additionally, Reithmaier assisted the program with translating updates to operational requirements and the technical requirements suitable for use in the follow-on unmanned aircraft system (UAS) contract. In fiscal year 2023, results of her strategic planning enabled the successful and timely execution of 19 total UAS deployments and avoided the expenditure of $1.5 million for the Coast Guard. Her direct efforts to get UAS deployed resulted in the seizure of more than 132,000 pounds of illicit narcotics valued at more than $1.25 billion.

Cost Estimator of the Year

Westmeyer is the team lead of the Coast Guard Cost Estimation and Evaluation branch. He was recognized for his leadership skills and efforts to maintain continuity of effort when the branch experienced turnover in personnel. More specifically, when two team members left to accept positions with DHS, Westmeyer reassigned duties to ensure the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate’s needs were continually met.

While leading through this time of organizational change, Westmeyer completed critical documentation on cost, including rough order of magnitude (ROM) approaches to provide the Coast Guard with consistency among non-major acquisition programs. This work established standardization for non-major cost ROMs that can be used across the Coast Guard enterprise. The standardization will allow for more active costing engagement efforts and provide the basis on which to build cost support for agile acquisition efforts in the future. The new ROM approaches are being implemented to estimate costs for multiple major programs, including MH-60T, leading to successful milestone completions.

Life Cycle Logistician of the Year

Sapiano is the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) integrated logistics support (ILS) project manager, working at the Surface Acquisitions Logistics Center. He was recognized for developing the largest logistics package ever undertaken by the Coast Guard. He led a diverse team of military, government civilians and support contractors and coordinated a much larger matrix team of stakeholders, logistics element managers, technical warrant holders and advisers to ensure that the OPC class will be logistically supported to meet all sustainability and affordability goals.

Additionally, Sapiano was instrumental in developing and beta testing the first comprehensive transition to sustainment criteria for ILS product development quantifying progress of the ILS deliverables. Additionally, he directed 60 maintenance analyses, entered 1,100 maintenance requirements, developed 360 maintenance procedure cards, enrolled 900 spare parts and developed transition to sustainment criteria, ensuring operational readiness of OPCs upon delivery.

Information Technology Professional of the Year

Woltz is a member of the Coast Guard Electronic Health Record Acquisition Program. She was honored for going “above and beyond all expectations” to develop tools enabling the successful execution of the program. Notably, she developed a tool to track and manage $500 million in lifecycle budget and procurement actions. This new tool successfully supported the management and execution of 70 obligations each year. Woltz leveraged the application to ensure alignment and visibility of the obligation plan among all internal and external stakeholders.

During the deployment of MHS Genesis to Coast Guard clinic and sick bay locations worldwide, the need arose for a clear understanding of clinic and sick bay inventory gaps. She volunteered to champion the development of an inventory tool to track all medical and dental information technology hardware across 168 ashore and afloat healthcare facilities. Her creation empowered the Coast Guard’s distributed medical community to implement a nationwide configuration management program that did not exist before.

Requirements Manager of the Year

Hernandez was recognized for expertly managing more than 20 critical requirements and development projects and prioritized needs and critical timelines spanning the Coast Guard’s aviation, shore, cyber and specialized deployable forces portfolios.

As one of the integrated product team co-chairs, her efforts were instrumental in enabling the Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to articulate the mission need for maintaining maritime domain awareness.

Additionally, she has demonstrated excellence in her breadth of knowledge in requirements expertise across a diverse set of organizational capability needs. Her expertise ensured that the final acquisition products delivered the capabilities required for field use through sound and reasonable key performance parameters, measures of performance and measures of effectiveness.