Capt. Kurt Waymire Takes Helm at NAVSUP FLC Norfolk

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Capt. Kurt Waymire (right) salutes NAVSUP GLS Commander Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, reporting that he is ready to assume command of NAVSUP FLC Norfolk, while Capt. Michelle Skubic looks on.

     The event took place at Naval Station Norfolk’s Vista Point Center, with more than 200 guests in attendance.  The U.S. Fleet Forces Band provided music.

     Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, commander, NAVSUP Global Logistics Support, presided over the ceremony and delivered the keynote address following invocation by Capt. Bruce Boyle.

     Capt. Skubic, who reported to the command in September 2011, was the 41st NAVSUP FLC Norfolk commanding officer, and presided over the center during a particularly dynamic period in the history of the 94-year-old Supply Center. During her command tour, she answered the call for help from the Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) to help shape the Navy’s budget during a time when every branch of service was looking to make significant cuts.

     “The VCNO needed someone of Michelle’s caliber who can lead a team and help our Navy navigate through the shoal water – successfully navigate through sequestration and continued resolution budget issues,” explained Rear Adm. Yuen.  “Capt. Skubic and her contracting team braced our NAVSUP high velocity strategic sourcing contracting solutions, and garnered more than $55 million in savings.”

     Rear Adm. Yuen said that if you asked other former commanding officers about what defined their command tours, they would say it was how they responded to unexpected events.  “Michelle and her team stepped up to several challenging events, and exemplified pure professionalism,” said Rear Adm. Yuen.  “During Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, Michelle and her team provided real-world support for relief efforts.  They coordinated the loading-out of more than 69 ships in just 36 hours to respond to sortie operations.”

     “The Navy Supply Corps plays a valuable role in supporting the warfighter,” he added.  “Contracting, mail, fuel, food, integrated logistics.  Michelle Skubic and her team have exemplified supporting the warfighter through the fight.”

     Before Capt. Skubic began her remarks, she recognized the NAVSUP FLC Norfolk Sailors standing in formation to her left.  She noted that they had been dutifully standing at parade rest, eyes fixed forward.  Out of typical concern for her Sailors, she encouraged them to be comfortable and to stand at ease.  She then thanked Rear Adm. Yuen for his leadership and support and for presiding over the change of command ceremony.  Noting that his Flag Lieutenant and Command Master Chief were in Norfolk with him, she said, “I hope they will take back the message of gratitude from my team for how you challenge us, have our backs, and are always receptive to ideas while you motivate us to be our best, because we fight the fight too.”

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NAVSUP GLS Commander Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen (left), NAVSUP FLC Norfolk Commanding Officer Capt. Kurt Waymire (center), and former NAVSUP FLC Norfolk Commanding Officer Capt. Michelle Skubic prepare to cut the cake at the reception following their change of command ceremony April 11.

     Capt. Skubic thanked the civilian staff, officers and Sailors of NAVSUP FLC Norfolk for their dedication and support to her and the ongoing mission of supplying the warfighter.  “You have never lost focus of the fight, the warfighter, and supporting one another across this team,” she said.  “For that I am eternally grateful and confident that you will emerge from the challenges of today with a continued strength and precision of warfighter support execution that our customers will demand tomorrow.”

     Capt. Skubic reported to Naval Supply Systems Command Headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Pa., where she now serves as Chief of Staff, the position previously held by Capt. Waymire.

     During his remarks after assuming command, Capt. Waymire thanked Rear Adm. Yuen for giving him the opportunity to lead the Navy’s largest supply center.  He also thanked Capt. Skubic for her leadership and for leaving behind a great team for him to work with.  He then added with a smile, “I also know the challenges you will face in your new assignment and, I have to be honest, I think I got the better deal.”

     As NAVSUP FLC Norfolk’s newest commanding officer, Capt. Waymire will lead nearly 1,600 military, civilian and contractor personnel operating out of 38 sites to provide logistics services to Sailors and other customers afloat and ashore in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

     “When Michelle looks out her window in her office and views the Norfolk waterfront, she sees lots of ships,” said Rear Adm. Yuen.  “On board those ships are supply officers, working shoulder to shoulder with their line officer brethren.  So my charge to you Kurt is to continue this embedded culture as the new CO.  If you roll up your sleeves and approach this job as you have every other job you’ve had in the Navy, you will definitely succeed.  Welcome home, and welcome aboard Kurt.  You have a great team to work with.”

By Jim Kohler, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Va.