BY SARAH GLINSKI
OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP WEAPON SYSTEMS SUPPORT
NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS) celebrated 100 years of keeping the U.S. Navy’s planes flying on Nov. 28.
Exactly one hundred years after the Philadelphia Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF) opened its doors for business, NAVSUP WSS hosted senior Navy and Marine Corps leadership and civic and political leaders in honor of its rich legacy of naval aviation supply support.
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Current and former NAVSUP WSS commanders, vice commanders, and deputy commanders of aviation, alongside local Philadelphia community leaders and the family of former Aviation Supply Office employee Lois Haywood, celebrate 100 years of naval aviation supply support on the front steps of NAVSUP WSS on Nov. 28. Pictured i n the first row from left to right: retired Capt. Ray Rodriguez, former NAVSUP WSS deputy commander of aviation; Michael Madden, vice commander, NAVSUP; Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic; Rear Adm. Duke Heinz, commander, NAVSUP WSS; retired Vice Adm. Keith Lippert, former NAVSUP WSS commander; and retired Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, former NAVSUP WSS commander. –photos by Maddie Klebe, NAVSUP WSS
NAVSUP WSS, the U.S. Navy’s premier supply chain manager, traces its roots back to the NAF as a longstanding member of the Philadelphia community. Since the NAF supply department was founded, subsequently expanded and grown into modern-day NAVSUP WSS, the command has provided top-notch, end-to-end lifecycle supply support for numerous aviation platforms and weapon systems.
“We’ve come a long way from assembling ailerons and painting Navy insignias on P-2 aircraft. But some things never change,” said Rear Adm. Duke Heinz, commander, NAVSUP WSS. “We serve the naval fleet first, now, and always. Their urgency and need to be wartime ready around the globe, around the clock, is our motivation to be more predictive, innovative, agile and responsive.”
The day started with a ceremony and ended with the arrival, tours and take-offs of two H-1 helicopters–a Huey and a Cobra.
Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic provided keynote remarks at the ceremony, during which the command’s stakeholders and employees alike remembered the past and looked to the future of Navy flight.
“On behalf of a grateful naval aviation enterprise, I’d like to personally thank [NAVSUP WSS] for your deep commitment to the warfighters you serve and for a job very well done,” said Kelley.
“In 2017 alone, you supplied 357,786 critical components and piece parts to the fleet, enabling our country’s aviation assets to conduct sustained combat operations against those who would threaten the United States and our allies,” Kelley continued. “The hard work you do every day is not lost on the warfighter.”
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NAVSUP WSS celebrated 100 years of service in commemoration of the establishment of the Philadelphia NAF on Nov. 28.
The audience also enjoyed special presentations by Philadelphia City Council Member-at-Large David Oh, who recognized NAVSUP WSS’s service history with a City Council Resolution, and Dr. William Trimble, professor emeritus, Auburn University and author of Wings for the Navy: A History of the Naval Aircraft Factory. Trimble’s presentation covered the history of aircraft produced in Philadelphia and the different commands that segmented from NAF.
Additionally, attendees listened to stories and saw photos from former command employees, took self-guided tours of NAVSUP WSS’s static display legacy aircraft and spoke with Naval History and Heritage Command personnel, who were on-site displaying vintage Navy artifacts and exhibits.