NETC Commander Discusses Impact of US Navy with Pensacola Leaders
The commander of Naval Education Training Command (NETC) led a roundtable discussion among Navy and Pensacola leaders Jan. 10 about the economic and social impact the Navy has on the local area.
Rear Adm. Don Quinn moderated the discussion, held inside the National Naval Aviation Museum on board Naval Air Station Pensacola, at the conclusion of Leadership Pensacola (LEAP) class of 2013’s military day.
LEAP is a 10-month program organized by the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. Classes consist of 50 local leaders who are immersed, through 11 seminars, into the economy, infrastructure and military that support the Pensacola area. Military Day is a one-day segment of the curriculum focused on developing an understanding of what takes place in the NAS Pensacola region.
“We get an in-depth look behind the scenes of what makes the area’s economy tick, the support systems that are here, and the people that are running those systems,” said Gerold Hall, 2013 LEAP member and director of Business Development at Landrum Professional Employer Services.
During the conversation, Quinn emphasized the volume of military students who attend training at commands in Pensacola, and the impact they have on the local economy.
“Last year we had 585,000 courses completed in the NETC domain. At any one point in time we have more than 6,500 students aboard NAS Pensacola and Corry Field combined,” he said. “Training is the foundation for our fleet’s success, and a great deal of that training happens right here in Pensacola.”
LEAP attendee and Account Advisor at Molton, Allen & Williams, Robert Bender, says the panel was enlightening and that, more than ever, he values the need for the community to continually make improvements so that Sailors and other service members who come to the area will think about returning after retirement or when they leave the armed services.
“It’s great to see what goes on here at NAS Pensacola, and we are proud to see how Pensacola affects what goes on in the world. Hopefully we, as residents of Pensacola, show our support and thanks so that those who come through here feel welcome,” said Bender.
While on board NAS Pensacola, LEAP members took tours of the station’s facilities, discussed leadership, and visited several training centers to see first-hand how Sailors and Marines are taught to fit the needs of the fleet. Stops on the tour included the Rescue Swimmer School and a demonstration of the Multi-place Helicopter Egress Training System.
“Today we showed them things that, as a normal everyday resident of Pensacola, they wouldn’t get to see,” said Capt. Chris Heaney, Naval Education and Training Command Security Assistance Field Activity (NETSAFA) International Training Center’s (NITC) Officer in Charge and LEAP 2013 Military Day Chair. “Events like these strengthen the already close relationship between the local civilian leadership and the leadership of Naval Air Station Pensacola.”
William Reynolds, city administrator for Pensacola says the theme of the day was the mutual relationship between Pensacola and the Naval Air Station with an emphasis on communication.
“These are young emerging leaders in Pensacola and the Pensacola area. Starting the communication for them, and keeping it going is exactly what it is all about,” he said.
Naval Today Staff, January 17, 2013; Image: NAS Pensacola