"I couldn't be more proud of how they answered the call to help our shipmates and their families in their time of need," said Cozad. "This wasn't an effort to gain personal recognition. Their willingness to volunteer represents what we stand for as a Navy family. We are one Navy Team, and this demonstrates a commitment to our people. This demonstrates a willingness to do everything we can to help our military and civilian employees and their families through difficult times. And in the end, these efforts help ensure our people are best positioned both at home and at work to focus again on the mission of developing and training Sailors."
Five NETC employees traveled to Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (CEODD) at Naval Support Activity Panama City Nov. 6-9 to assist with administrative requirements service members and Navy civilians faced as a result of the hurricane.
Non-essential personnel and families from the installation and its tenant commands were authorized to evacuate ahead of the hurricane's arrival on Oct. 10. When an authorized evacuation is in place with a specified safe haven location and distance, personnel and their families may receive assistance to cover the expenses that they face, such as hotel, gas, and food. When it is safe to return, they must file travel claims.
"We are grateful for the support that NETC headquarters has been giving and continues to provide," said Capt. Robert Porter, CEODD's commanding officer. "Until you experience something like this, it's hard to grasp the emotional and in some cases financial toll that people experience when dealing with a significant hurricane and its aftermath. Making sure our people and their families are being taken care of is our first priority as we work toward getting back to one hundred percent operational."
The NETC administrative and travel experts assisted more than 200 staff and family members from CEODD and Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) with questions and the travel claim process. From setting up Defense Travel System (DTS) profiles to teaching how to create DTS authorizations and vouchers, the staff ensured that claims were processed correctly.
"We were all so glad that we went," said Carlos Roebuck, from NETC's administration department. "Some people came back to nothing and lost their homes, so being able to alleviate just some of their stress was very rewarding. We also now have some lessons learned on how to handle a situation like this and improve our processes."
Back at NETC headquarters in Pensacola, Florida, financial analysts also helped with wrapping up fiscal year 2018 financial requirements. More than 4,500 documents were reviewed to ensure CEODD was able to officially close and balance out the books and complete various data calls on time. Staff also assisted with resolving timekeeping and pay issues that new employees were experiencing.
At the schoolhouse, most staff members have returned to work. While classes at NDSTC were either cancelled or alternative arrangements made for training, the staff expects to fully resume training in Panama City in January.
For more on NETC, visit the NETC website at https://www.public.navy.mil/netc or http://www.navy.mil/local/cnet/ and follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/netcpao.