Leo Wynne, a supervisory engineering technician with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington’s Facilities Engineering and Acquisition Division (FEAD) at NAS Patuxent River, has been named the NAVFAC Washington Supervisor of the Year, in recognition of his outstanding efforts in supporting the command’s mission.
In his current position since 2010, Wynne supervises a group of 10 engineering techs in the Category III/IV Team, which is defined by NAVFAC as projects with “limited to no engineering.”
“But leveraging the technical skills and abilities of his staff, Leo and his team have stretched this definition and taken on much more, to the benefit of our many demanding customers,” said Cmdr. Grant Watanabe, public works officer. “When an [Engineering and Construction Bulletin] exception-to-policy memo fully supported this, there was pushback at the headquarters level which was quickly squashed, in part, due to the high quality and volume work his team puts out.”
As stated in his nomination package, Wynne has grown his team’s technical expertise and created a capability within Cat III/IV to complete daily work assignments and, at a moment’s notice, rapidly react to emergent projects with accuracy, technical proficiency, and deliberate mission focus.
Specific examples of completed projects include restoration of the TC-7 catapult supporting Joint Strike Fighter testing, and restoration of the Webster Field runway, which had been closed due to a sinkhole.
Along with his team, Wynne stepped up to assist in offsetting personnel losses in Cat I/II, helping to provide leadership stability and support. At the Navy Yard, he participated in five working groups which focused on ways in which NAVFAC could better support its customers; and he helped identify areas for improvement, providing a boots-on-ground perspective and developing recommendations to help improve command processes.
With years of construction experience and a historical awareness of the installation’s facilities, Wynne has also become a knowledge repository for the entire PWD and is often sought out by coworkers for input on issues outside of his Cat III/IV responsibilities.
Wynne, however, admits to being humbled by the NAVFAC Washington honor.
“We’re a regional command out of D.C. that includes nine public works departments in the area,” he said. “Normally, the supervisory award winner is an engineer or architect, and I’m neither. To win it in front of some great, highly qualified candidates is somewhat overwhelming. It just reflects on my team’s accomplishments and that I’m fortunate enough to be their supervisor.”
Wynne explained that his department handles project estimating, statements work, and takes care of existing buildings, working on projects normally less than $500,000 – anything from rehabbing a facility to HVAC.
“We do about 500 projects per year, or about $19 million,” he added. “We’re highly technical and I’m very proud of my team; they do great work. Without them, what I do wouldn’t matter.”