By Joe Yanik, Office of Corporate Communications, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella
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Rear Adm. Grafton Chase Jr. (center), director of Readiness and Logistics, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa is pictured alongside senior leaders assigned to NAVSUP FLC Sigonella.
Within the last few years, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Sigonella experienced a dramatic increase in logistics support operations within the European and African Command theaters of operation. To prepare and respond to the future growing needs of the fleet and shore-based forces, more than three dozen of the command’s military and civilian leaders gathered for its annual leadership conference Jan. 29-31 at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy, during which they exchanged ideas and developed solutions to better achieve the command’s strategic goals during fiscal year 2019.
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Rear Adm. Grafton Chase Jr. (right, standing), director of Readiness and Logistics, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, speaks to NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s senior leaders.
“You are all here as leaders to challenge existing assumptions that may be inhibiting our progress, make decisions that improve our processes and, ultimately, make a difference in how we provide logistics support to our areas of operation,” said NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s commanding officer, Capt. Dion English during his opening remarks to the group.
Presentations during the conference focused on headquarters’ and each of its five site’s capabilities and responsibilities. Discussion topics emerged organically among attendees in a spontaneous, open forum format to generate solutions to operational and workforce challenges.
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Capt. Dion English (left), NAVSUP FLC Sigonella commanding officer, listens as Antonio Fiorini, organizer for the command’s leadership conference, gives closing remarks after English publically thanked him for a job well done.
“Candid dialogue about important issues was very important to the success of the conference because it fosters common understanding of the root causes of issues or challenges, and produces best courses of action to go forward,” said NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s Executive Director, Mr. Bong Cabling. “For instance, the operational impact of the 12-month rotation of personnel in Souda Bay, Redzikowo, Deveselu and Djibouti prompted the team to highlight key issues to be addressed with external commands and significant issues to be discussed within the NAVSUP swimlane.”
Two recurring themes during this year’s conference were the importance of taking care of the command’s workforce, professionally and personally; and recognizing the contributions of Navy Reservists and local nationals to the NAVSUP FLC Sigonella mission.
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CPO Alfred Rios, NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s senior enlisted leader for the command’s operational site at Souda Bay, Greece, presents his site’s personnel overview.
Mercedes Maestre, a procurement technician at Site Rota and one of several local national (LN) team members in attendance, delivered a presentation at the conference on behalf of her LN colleagues.
“The purpose of my remarks was to present issues to leadership that are important to my colleagues and to propose ideas for solutions, like opportunities for professional development,” Maestra said.
NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s Navy Reserve Commander, Capt. Charles Kirol was another attendee at the conference.
“By gaining an understanding of NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s goals and manning challenges, we Reservists can rally around our active duty counterparts with support to drive maximum value for the command,” Kirol said.
From the dialogue that took place at the conference, leaders devised action items that will be distributed for completion.
“Our ability to achieve our objectives this year depends not just upon exchanging ideas and brainstorming solutions, but following through on action items we recorded during our discussions,” Cabling said. “Following up enables us to align our approach and answer leadership’s mandate of being able to fight and win.”
–photos by Joe Yanik