“Challenge yourself for success.”
This was the message from Capt. Gerald P. Raia, commanding officer of Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Bahrain, while speaking to Supply Corps officers aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman
(CVN 75) during his visit March 10-11.
Raia embarked Truman
to experience aircraft carrier operations at sea during the ship’s combat deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, to which NAVSUP FLC Bahrain provides services. He not only observed first-hand how the interaction between the ship and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) impacts the carrier, but also how processes could be improved.
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Capt. Gerald P. Raia, commanding officer, Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Bahrain, met with Supply Corps officers aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Pictured are (back row, left-to-right) Ens. James Minge, Lt. Sand Miller, Lt. Keith Hough, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brian Armstrong, Lt. Cmdr. John Tipton, 1st Lt. Mark Stone, Lt. Asim Durakovic, Lt. j.g. Jacqueline Nedd-Griffith, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kenneth Miller, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Wanda Trammell, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Tucker. (front row, left-to-right) Lt. Michael Sargent, Lt. Brady Peters, Cmdr. William Clarke, Capt. Gerald Raia, Lt. Cmdr. Bradley Carroll, Lt. j.g. Broward Maryan, Ens. Brittany Demarco. USS Harry S. Truman, flagship of Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and supporting theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Blagoj Petkovski/Released)
Raia met with Truman’s Supply Corps officers to provide information, as well as receive feedback. He asked the tough questions that will improve the relationship between the FLC and regional customers in the future.
As the first commanding officer of NAVSUP FLC Bahrain, Raia recounted the many challenges he and his team faced while standing-up the command, and how rewarding the task was and continues to be.
“We set the standards for those that will follow, from regional support to training to mentorship,” he said.
According to Raia, one of the most difficult challenges faced by NAVSUP FLC Bahrain is the personnel rotation in Bahrain.
With tours lasting either 12 or 24 months, there is often little time for personnel to become accustomed to their position and the area before they are preparing to transfer. Raia stressed that setting high standards for service and training were both key components in his strategy to energize the command and overcome any weaknesses inherent to such a short tour length average.
A key element to facilitate and cement into practice this change is a strong mentorship program, said Raia.
As an example of this program he instituted, Raia brought Logistics Specialists 3rd Class Ashley Dye and Lisa Thepvongsa with him to experience shipboard life. They were paired with Chief Logistics Specialist Jamie Cuesta and Logistics Specialist 1st Class Shaina Thompkins, Truman’s Petty Officer of the Year. Cuesta and Thompkins showed the junior Sailors what life on board a carrier was like, and also impressed on them the importance of the relationship between the FLC and their regional customers.
Raia concluded his visit by holding office calls with Truman officers interested in his experiences and mentorship.
By Lt. j.g. Broward Maryan, SC, USN; Hazardous Materials Officer aboard
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).