MCPON Visits Pensacola Training Commands

Story Number: NNS131213-08Release Date: 12/13/2013 9:26:00 AM
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By Lt. Jonathan Bacon, Naval Air Technical Training Center Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens conducted an all-hands call for Sailors at Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP), Fla., Dec. 12.

The visit was part of Stevens' swing through the South, as he toured Navy commands and units in Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.

At the Naval Aviation Schools Command (NASC) Aviation Rescue Swimmer and Aircrew Candidate Schools, Stevens was given an overview of the programs and toured the training facilities.

As a junior Sailor, Stevens was a student in Naval Air Technical Training Center's (NATTC) Aviation Structural Mechanic Course, when the school was located in Millington, Tenn. As the 13th MCPON, Stevens returned to NATTC, now in Pensacola, to observe the training being delivered to the current generation of new Sailors.

Comparing his visits today with the training he received 30 years ago, Steven said, "I think our training is getting better each year, and I could not be more impressed with what I saw today at NASC and NATTC."

Stevens observed first-hand NATTC's aviation ordnance, jet engine maintenance, and aircraft structural repair training facilities as he visited with the students and instructors.

On the importance of becoming an instructor, Stevens remarked "If a sailor has the opportunity to become an instructor at a training command, either at an 'A'School, a 'C' School, or at Recruit Training Command, they should take it. We have a responsibility to training our reliefs."

A central stop on MCPON's tour were the NATTC and NASC barracks which house the students attending training. The barracks facilities are just one example of the partnership between the air station and the tenant commands.

Following the barracks tour, Stevens attended a Chief Petty Officers' Call where he fielded questions from the senior enlisted leadership of various local commands. With the chiefs, Stevens spoke about changes coming down the road which will affect the mess, and took questions on topics of interest, including: the commissaries, tuition assistance, and the timeliness of orders. He also encouraged the chiefs to take another look at his letter to the fleet titled "Zeroing in on Excellence."

After meeting with the chiefs, Stevens addressed Sailors from various Pensacola commands during an All Hands call in NATTC's largest hangar. He fielded questions on a variety of topics including the upcoming Navy uniform changes, quality of life initiatives, manning on new classes of ships, aid to the Philippines, pay and benefits.

NASP Command Master Chief Jeff Grosso accompanied MCPON during most of his tour.

"I think the highlight of MCPON Steven's visit was talking to his Sailors - 3,000 of them at the Charles Taylor Memorial Hangar at NATTCenter," said Grosso. "He got to talk to all the chief petty officers here in the area; we had more than 280 there at the All Hands call. He would stop at any given time and shake someone's hand, no matter what the schedule said."

While wrapping up both the chief's and all-hands call, Stevens detailed what he described as his most important career advice for Sailors at all levels.

"I want you all to remember my Foundations to Success," said Stevens. "Work hard every single day, stay out of trouble, and, be a good and decent person."

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Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens tours the Aviation Rescue Swimmer School.
131212-N-VT367-032 PENSACOLA, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2013) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens, center right, discusses training with Naval Aviation Schools Command Master Chief Keith Mahaffey, left, Chief Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) Waylon Wolf, center left, and Command Master Chief Jeffery Garrison, Executive Assistant to the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, on the Aviation Rescue Swimmer School pool deck at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Riley Cornett/Released)
December 13, 2013
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