REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – The North Harbor Marina was the backdrop as Western Regional Command Director, Michael A. Lowry relinquished responsibilities to Air Force Col. Tracey Kop, and bid farewell to coworkers and friends during a change of command and retirement ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Redondo, Beach, Calif., July 19.
“It has been an honor to lead the Western Region and work for an agency full of so many highly professional people,” said Lowry. During his remarks, Lowry expressed confidence in Kop’s ability to continue leading the region in the right direction and ensuring quality products are delivered to the war fighter.
Marie A. Greening, DCMA chief operations officer, presided over the ceremony. During her remarks, Greening said Lowry’s contributions were instrumental in the overall success of the Western Region and he would be missed. She also said Kop was an excellent choice to continue leading the Western Regional command in the right direction.
Kop brings with her a wealth of knowledge about the agency, and contracting operations overall. From her first assignment as a systems contract manager for the Space and Missile Center in Los Angeles, to her most recent job as the deputy director for DCMA headquarters operations, Kop has filled a variety of acquisition, mission support, command, expeditionary, instructor and special duty positions at various levels within the Department of Defense.
“My first duty station when I came on active duty was Los Angeles Air Force Base and it was a very unique experience because I was part of the first group of lieutenants ever assigned there. We had great leadership that put us in with the interns and really allowed us to move around and learn our jobs,” said Kop. “After four years, they told me I would be coming back – once you’ve been here, it’s inevitable you’ll be back. Now, 23 years later, I’m coming back to the area. It’s a full circle back to where I started my career.”
As the new commander Kop oversees contract management offices dispersed from Texas to Alaska and Hawaii, employing more than 2,200 DCMA civilians and approximately 160 active duty military personnel. The region is responsible for more than 68,000 active contracts with an obligated amount of more than $450 billion.
Lowry, who has more than 30 years’ experience in Defense Acquisition Management, was honored during an emotional retirement ceremony following the change of command.
“There are countless mentors throughout my career that enabled me to be successful,” said Lowry. “Working for DCMA is a highlig ht of my life, and to all those that made that it possible – thank you for the opportunity.”