News: Commander, Navy Installations Command tours Navy's oldest shore installation
Story by Joseph P Cirone
WASHINGTON - On March 16, the Commander, Navy Installations Command received a comprehensive look at three Washington, D.C. naval installations as part of his priority to have firsthand knowledge of each of the 76 naval installations in the 11 Navy regions, worldwide, for which he has responsibility.
Hosted by Naval District Washington Commandant Rear Adm. Patrick J. Lorge and Naval Support Activity Washington Commanding Officer Capt. John Sears, Vice Adm. Michael C. Vitale received an in-depth orientation and tour of the three installations and a brief orientation of Bolling Air Force Base, soon to be part of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.
Beginning at the Washington Navy Yard, the Navy's oldest naval installation; home to some of the Navy's largest commands; the Navy's ceremonial quarterdeck and the site of the oldest continuously manned Marine Corps sentry post, the three naval officers walked its grounds.
Along the way, the officers stopped to take closer looks at a Navy Appellate Court Room; Navy Exchange; a large building renovation project; a site for a possible future Child Development Center; a joint service command and the Navy Yard's waterfront, highlighting NSAW's role in supporting the Fleet, Fighter and Family.
The officers then proceeded across the District of Columbia-owned 11th Street Bridge, spanning the Anacostia River to get to NSAW's Naval Support Facility Anacostia. Along the route, Vitale was briefed on the constructions projects involving the 11th Street Bridge and the installation of a Streetcar system by the local government, both of which impact NSFA.
At NSFA, the officers visited the Child Development Center, Gymnasium, Fleet and Family Support Center, Single Sailor Center and the Personnel Support Detachment.
Before eating lunch at the NSAW Morale, Welfare and Recreation operated Funari Restaurant, Vitale held a roundtable discussion with NSAW department heads. During the discussion, department heads freely asked questions related to security, information technology, joint basing, MWR and budget matters. "It was a really good session," said Lt. Jamie Waters, NSAW administrative officer. NSAW Financial Manager Heather Kelm called the session, "Very informative, eye-opening and reassuring."
At the Single Sailor Center, also known as the Liberty Center, off-duty members of the Navy Ceremonial Guard and other commands, who were playing pool and video games or relaxing in one of the center's comfortable chairs, had the opportunity to meet the admiral. Center coordinator, Kay Berube and NSAW MWR Director Lee Bell pointed out the recreational features of the center as they showed him around.
Departing the center, the officers toured additional portions of NSFA, stopping to visit housing areas, federal and military points of interest. An orientation and windshield tour of BAFB followed.
Next, the admirals, Sears and others in the official party went to NSAW's Naval Support Facility Naval Research Laboratory, where Vitale visited the MWR facilities available to military and civilian personnel, some of whom are a portion of the more than 60,000 people that he commands, worldwide.
More than eight hours after the visit to NSAW began, Vitale, Lorge and Sears returned to the Washington Navy Yard, where they met to complete the exchange of information and finish briefings.
In reflecting on the day's events, Sears said, "I am proud to have had the opportunity to show the admirals how NSAW and its great people do all they can to truly support the Fleet, Fighter and Family. We are proud of our mission and work hard every day to ensure that we accomplish our mission so our tenant commands can accomplish theirs."