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Logistics Center Sigonella Commanding Officer, Capt. Bob Gantt, NAVSUP Fleet awards the NATO medal to NAVSUP FLC Sailors for their efforts during Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector. (Photo by Eduardo Lucio)
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Sigonella Sailors and Marines were among those awarded the Non Article 5 NATO Medal for their supporting role in the United States and Coalition Forces’ enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 in support of Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.
In addition to receiving the NATO Medal, the Command received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for support during these extensive operations. Before the Libya campaigns, Naval Air Station Sigonella’s traditional role was as a maritime support and logistics hub; however, over the course of the eight-month Theater-wide campaign, the installation and NAVSUP FLC Sigonella saw an influx of more than 1,500 service members from all branches of the U.S. military, and forces from seven coalition nations.
During these operations, NAVSUP FLC Sigonella personnel served in a variety of roles, including ship support at the NATO pier in Augusta Bay, which experienced a 400 percent increase in port traffic; assisting Culinary Specialists in the galley, serving meals to accommodate a 300 percent increase in patrons; fuels personnel were busy supporting more than 2,000 aircraft refueling evolutions for a myriad of aircraft that included fighter, reconnaissance, and various support aircraft from eight Air Forces.
Filling requirements for such a diverse coalition required innovative thinking, timely coordination and knowledge of joint operations. Using Acquisition Cross Service Agreements, NAVSUP FLC Sigonella was able to fill a variety of requirements for the various coalition services from special fuel for Swedish fighters to the mundane every day requirements such as bottled water. It took a team effort, but the results speak for themselves.
At an awards ceremony held at NAS Sigonella on February 22, Rear Adm. Anthony Gaiani, Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, said "In my view, there is no base anywhere in the world today that has consistently proven its value (in terms of shore fighting capacity and capability), particularly in Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector."
"I'm happy to say that today, you're being recognized for that work," he added.
“It is truly a distinctive accomplishment,” remarked NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Commanding Officer, Capt. Bob Gantt. “These were the most extensive series of operations in the Mediterranean and northern Africa in a generation, and our NAVSUP team provided effective and around-the-clock logistics, contracting, and aircraft refueling support to the fleet, expeditionary, joint, and NATO forces. Our personnel were part of an integrated support structure and will wear those unit awards proudly, with the satisfaction of a job well done.”
From steady state to operational epicenter, NAVSUP FLC Sigonella personnel demonstrated a great ability to support, no matter the operational tempo, and helped ensure that the successes of Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector will resonate long into the future.
Lt. Patrick Amundson
NAVSUP FLC Sigonella Corporate Communications Officer