Story by Clifford Davis on 05/29/2019JACKSONVILLE, Fla. U.S. Marine Corps Col. Fred Schenk took command of Fleet Readiness Center Southeast from Navy Capt. Trent DeMoss today at a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
The ceremony marked the end of DeMoss' tangibly successful tenure with the Navy command that performs aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, employing more than 5,000 in the Jacksonville area.
"In the Navy, we say that every ship has its own personality, and so does every depot," DeMoss said. "FRCSE's personality and reputation has always been the Go-to' depot when you really need something done.
"They don't need fanfare or awards, they just get the job done and that matches my personality pretty well."
Though DeMoss does his best to stay out of the spotlight, the command's accomplishments under his leadership certainly warrant acclaim.
In 2018, FRCSE became the depot source of repair for the T-6 Texan II, the Navy's primary trainer aircraft. A year later, the depot landed the Navy's F-5 Tiger II workload. Both platforms not only mean jobs for the artisans who'll perform the work and millions of dollars injected into the local economy, but also ensure the Navy has the trained pilots and aircraft needed to accomplish its mission.
The facility's F/A-18 Super Hornet line and its 414 engine line have also maximized their output to help the Navy come within reach of its goal of 80-percent mission capable status for its Super Hornet fleet. This was accomplished, in large part, due to the implementation of the Navy Sustainment System, or NSS, of which DeMoss was a driving force.
Adopted from the best practices of private industry, NSS helped streamline the production process and led to record turnaround times at FRCSE.
In addition, DeMoss made it a point to emphasize his "TEAM" concept, that Together, Every Action and Asset Matters. A piece of this concept was his establishment of the TEAM award, where he recognized employees who went above and beyond in their work with a cash bonus, certificate of appreciation, unit patch, command coin and command hat.
"It was just a good way to foster and recognize high-performing individuals and teams," DeMoss said. "It was a way to say thank you and let folks know that we appreciate the good work they're doing."
After his successful tenure at FRCSE, DeMoss will now move on to serve as Vice Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers in Patuxent River, Maryland.
"I had a tremendous civilian leadership team, and I couldn't have asked for a better executive officer," he said. "He and I have known each other for a long time, and we're about as in-sync as two people can be."
Schenk is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a former AV-8B Harrier pilot. He also served as a test pilot in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program where he completed the first carrier landing of an F-35B.
He will be the first Marine to ever lead FRCSE in its 79-year history.
"I'm honored and humbled to be standing before you today as the new commanding officer of Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, an organization that is so critical to our nation's defense" Schenk said.
Navy Capt. Grady Duffey, a former production officer at the depot, assumed the role of executive officer.