‘Unsung heroes’ help CNATTU Lemoore persevere during the COVID-19 pandemic

22 July 2021

From Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Michael A. Hamm

It’s been a day and night comparison from a year ago here at Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Lemoore. With more Sailors, Marines, and Department of Defense civilians being vaccinated for COVID-19, the trend seems to be moving in the right direction in getting back to business as usual.
LEMOORE, Calif. -- It’s been a day and night comparison from a year ago here at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Lemoore. With more Sailors, Marines, and Department of Defense civilians being vaccinated for COVID-19, the trend seems to be moving in the right direction in getting back to business as usual.

The pandemic presented new challenges and became an adversary the U.S. Navy has never seen in modern history. Nonetheless, the mission must carry on. For CNATTU Lemoore, that meant getting service members trained and out to the fleet to support Strike Fighter and Electronic Attack squadrons in Air Wings. With swift leadership guidance from the command’s triad, execution from the staff and perseverance from all, the mission continued without interruption.

CNATTU Lemoore’s staff all deserve credit for making it all possible, but a few individuals demonstrated tremendous leadership. They are: Fire School Lead Chief Petty Officer Dewayne Black, Training Support Department Lead Chief Petty Officer Tyrone Binongcal, Aviation Maintenance Administration Management Training Lead Chief Petty Officer Matthew Semuskie, and Training Support Department Lead Petty Officer 1st Class Edgar Robles. These Sailors led CNATTU Lemoore’s COVID team and achieved remarkable results.

Most Sailors and Marines reporting to CNATTU Lemoore for training are new accessions. And in the midst of a pandemic while being away from home with minimal personal belongings on hand, 14 days of restriction of moment (ROM) seemed longer than usual. The wellbeing of those students was pivotal to CNATTU Lemoore’s mission. The execution from the COVID team and support staff in tracking those Sailors and Marines ensured tasks were achieved. They superbly coordinated the delivery of 10,458 meals to 249 ROM students.

Robles even coordinated with base Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) services to provide televisions, movies and gaming systems to improve the overall quality of life for students on ROM. Additionally every Tuesday, they organized with MWR and the base galley which also has a pizzeria to have half of a large pizza and soda provided to every Sailor and Marine. Furthermore, they added a personal touch often supporting student’s personal requests from specialty food items, the newest video game, or personal items. Truly an amazing job from those leaders and staff in keeping the heartbeat of the mission, but it did not stop there.

One of CNATTU’s own also answered the call to support Great Lakes Recruit Training Command (RTC) during the time of need.

Training Support Department Barracks Lead Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Jones supported the unprecedented task of implementing policy, procedure, and protocol governing new accession recruits received at RTC's ROM detachment at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. He assisted in continuous recruit throughput while maintaining DOD COVID guidance and supported the Navy in meeting Fiscal Year 2020 accession goals.

Appointed as a recruit supervisor, he managed and monitored the health and safety of 114 recruits during their mandated isolation and ROM period. As a member of the logistics support division, he coordinated the receipt, sorting, stowage and inventory of 158,000 pounds of uniforms, linen, and consumable material supporting more than 4,000 recruits and 157 staff members.  He was also assigned to night arrivals at RTC where he aided in the process of escorting 2,897 recruits to Ft. McCoy and back down to RTC. Jones was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for sustained superior performance during the assignment.

No matter what was thrown at CNATTU Lemoore during the past year the entire command adapted, persisted and overcame obstacles that were presented. One day looking back in history with future Sailors and Marines the discussion how the mission continued through a global pandemic will be a great resiliency story. The leadership and the teamwork demonstrated by staff, particularly the “unsung heroes,” made it happen.
 
 
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