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NAVSUP FLC Sigonella leaders meet to plot command’s course for 2019

NAVSUP FLC Sigonella leaders meet to plot command’s course for 2019

Story by Joseph Yanik on 02/07/2019

SIGONELLA, Sicily, Italy (NNS) – More than three dozen military and civilian leaders from Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella (NAVSUP FLC) gathered for the command’s annual leadership conference Jan 29-31 at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy, to exchange ideas, develop solutions and establish action items aimed at achieving the command’s strategic goals during fiscal year 2019.

“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 Commander CAPT Dion English during his opening remarks to the group.

FLC Sigonella is a geographically diverse organization within the NAVSUP Enterprise. The attendees and discussion leaders represented the FLC’s headquarters located at NAS Sigonella and the command’s five operational sites located at Naval Air Station Rota, Spain; NSA Souda Bay, Greece; Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti; NAS Sigonella and NSA Naples, Italy.

“Our annual leadership conference helps us to collectively foster a culture of innovation and cooperation so we can overcome challenges of geographic distance,” said NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s Executive Director, Bong Cabling

Some of the challenges, he said, include adjustments to the Conditions of Employment for Host National workforces between Foreign National Direct Hire and Indirect Hire employees; the adoption of Cultural, Administrative, Geographic and Environmental distances between U.S. and Allied countries in Europe and Africa; and response to constant change of LOGREQ requirements when ships pull into non-Navy ports on short notice.

Presentations during the conference focused on headquarters’ and each 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.

“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 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 command’s workforce, professionally and personally; and recognizing the contributions of Navy reservists and local nationals to the NAVSUP FLC Sigonella mission.

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,” Maestre said.

NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s Navy Reserve commander CAPT Charles Kirol was another attendee at the conference.

“By gaining an understanding of 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.

Offering his perspective as Director, Readiness and Logistics, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, RDML Grafton Chase, Jr. visited as guest speaker to highlight the role FLC Sigonella plays in providing logistics readiness support to the Navy and Joint Warfighters operating in the region by aligning its command priorities with those of the U.S. 6th Fleet.

“RDML Chase’s perspective on theater operations is invaluable to us,” said NAVSUP FLC Sigonella’s Command Master Chief Mark Schlosser. “His insights about are we ready to fight’ and our logistics support role in the region opened the aperture on what plans we need to execute next.”

For FLC Sigonella’s leaders, discussing solutions and brainstorming ideas are just the beginning of plotting the command’s course for success in 2019.

“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.”

FLC Sigonella is one of NAVSUP’s eight globally-positioned logistics centers that provides for the full range of the Fleet’s military operations. NAVSUP FLC Sigonella delivers solutions for logistics, business and support services to the Navy, Military Sealift Command, Joint and Allied Forces throughout Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

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