NEX Bahrain Employee Earns Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation

Story Number: NNS181218-05Release Date: 12/18/2018 8:38:00 AM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Paulina Kosturos Khoury, NSA Bahrain Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Navy Exchange (NEX) Bahrain, Jebel Ali and Djibouti information technology (IT) specialist Johnny Widener was one of 26 Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Enterprise associates from headquarters and the Southeast and Mid-South districts to be honored with the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC).

According to Kristine Sturkie’s article "NEXCOM Receives Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation,” Adm. John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, awarded the Navy MUC to NEXCOM for meritorious service from Aug. 1 to Nov. 30, 2017 for its response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma.

Widener and the other associates were honored for their work with Naval Supply Systems Command’s Fleet Logistic Center Jacksonville, Florida, Enterprise Logistics Response Team. Several NEXCOM headquarters associates were also recognized at a command ceremony for their assistance during Hurricane Irma’s recovery efforts.

“It is an honor to receive this award, which took a team effort from many NEX
associates at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville and NAS Key West,” Widener said.

Widener, who transferred from NAS Jacksonville to Naval Support Activity Bahrain in July, was presented with his commendation Dec. 12 at NEX Bahrain by Rear Adm. (Ret) Robert Bianchi, chief executive officer of NEXCOM.

“We traveled to Key West shortly after Hurricane Irma, but before the Key West airport had reopened. Our goal was to ensure that NEX Key West was open to support the returning military personnel and their families when they were allowed to return to Key West,” Widener said. “My primary responsibility was to reestablish IT communications between NAS Key West and NEXCOM Headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I was also to make sure that all IT devices, such as computers, printers, and cash registers were fully operational and assist other NEX associates in ensuring that NEX Key West was open so they could support the returning Navy families to Key West.”

NEX Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Djibouti General Manager Dan Cougevan speaks highly of Widener’s day-to-day accomplishments as well.

“Widener is our IT manager and works tirelessly to ensure our point-of-sale and back office computer systems run efficiently. He oversees our operations in Bahrain, Jebel Ali and Djibouti,” said Cougevan. “NEX Bahrain, Jebel Ali and Djibouti are NEXs at the ‘tip-of-the-spear’ and are critical for ensuring warfighter readiness. We are fortunate to have someone of Johnny's caliber on our team as we could not ask for a finer IT manager who is more dedicated to the NEX's mission.”  

According to Sturkie’s article, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to a Navy or Marine Corps unit that has distinguished itself by valorous or meritorious accolades, which renders the unit outstanding compared to other units performing similar service. Former Secretary of the Navy John T. McNaughton established the MUC in 1967.


Get more information about the Navy from US Navy Facebook or Twitter.

For more news from Naval Support Activity Bahrain, visit

Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click Subscribe to Navy News Service.