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Logisticians from across Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River gathered at the Center Stage Theater on Jan. 15, to review the most recent naval aviation logistics initiatives and have a dialogue on how they fit into the NAVAIR Long Range Strategy. They were joined via video teleconference by their contemporaries at NAVAIR sites around the country.

"We need to do everything we can to keep our workforce educated," said Todd Balazs, NAVAIR deputy assistant commander for Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR 6.0). "We selected topics that are relevant and important, and we sought out speakers who could engage our team members while provoking thought and discussion. I think we succeeded in that."

Guest speaker, retired Marine Corps Col. Arthur Athens, the director of the U.S. Naval Academy's Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership, spoke about leadership. He said while many are familiar with the 'Three C's' of leadership: competence, courage and compassion, he said an additional attribute of effective leadership is humility.

"It's not about me, it's about the team," he said several times during his presentation.

Athens said one of the earliest lessons in leadership he learned as a Marine Corps officer came from a subordinate, a Marine Gunnery Sergeant who had seen action in World War II and the Korea conflict. Athens, as a young platoon leader, asked his older, experienced sergeant, "Why would you follow me?"

The sergeant answered with three questions of his own: Do you know your job or are striving hard to learn it? Will you make hard, but correct decisions even if it costs you personally? And, do you care as much about us as you care about yourself?

"That's what leadership is all about," Athens said.

In addition to the presentation by Athens, topics included updates on the Aviation Logistics Environment (ALE) program, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter logistics and sustainment efforts, back-to-basics maintenance planning, the College of Logistics and Industrial Operations (CLIO) and more.

Dennis West, deputy commander of the Fleet Readiness Centers, gave an update on organizational refinements within COMFRC and how Navy initiatives were impacting the command's most geographically dispersed Center, FRC West Pacific, headquartered at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan. FRC WestPac also has sites in Iwakuni and Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Guam, Singapore and Afghanistan.

Several employees were honored with Meritorious Civilian Service and length of service awards, as well as a certificate of achievement and letter of appreciation.

Michelle Demoss-Coward, Mentoring Externally Directed Team lead, received a Meritorious Civilian Service Award for her work with the M-EDT. Lonnie Snead received a Letter of Appreciation for his support of M-EDT.

Two employees reached significant employment milestones. Lillian Thomas was recognized for her 40 years as a federal employee, while Edward Batty III was honored for 35 years of service.

Capt. Keith Nixon, military director for AIR 6.6, received a Certificate of Achievement for being named a finalist in the prestigious Admiral Stanley K. Arthur Military Logistician of the Year award. Nixon was cited for "dynamic leadership, innovation and achievement in the advancement of Navy logistics and fleet readiness."