Communication, preparedness and flexibility nets NATEC employee recognition
The purposeful exchange of information among stakeholders is one of the first steps in readiness production, according to Dwight Felty, a Naval Air Technical Data and Engineering Service Center (NATEC) Avionics Supervisor/Equipment Specialist at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
“I'm a firm believer in clear, concise and timely communication,” he said. “Without it, neither NATEC Headquarters [in San Diego, California] or I have means of anticipating any changes that will impact the fleet, my organization, the team or myself. It’s a two-way street. Without making my intentions clear to employees, success would be difficult, if not impossible.”
Felty was recently named the 2019 National Logistics and Industrial Operations Competency Supervisor of the Year. He is credited with providing training to Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 10 prior to their deployment that was tailored to meet the special needs of each squadron. As a result, CPRW-10 made fewer requests for NATEC services while its squadrons were deployed.
Communication, he explained, makes it possible for him to be forward thinking and be adaptable in his approach to problem solving—two leadership qualities he believes are essential in providing support to the fleet. “I formulate plans in anticipation of future needs and challenges. Flexibility is also key. Change is the norm in our field of disciplines,” he said.
Tom Rudowsky, Director, Sustainment Group, commended Felty for taking on the NATEC P-8A technical coordinator responsibilities in addition to his full-time job during the Navy’s transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A. “Supervising several teams at the same time is tough,” he said. “You covered multiple disciplines across logistics for a transitioning platform in a competitive environment. Thank you for all you do in in providing capabilities to the fleet.”
“Mr. Felty is a model supervisor,” said NATEC Director Cmdr. Ken Tachikawa who nominated him. “He is a proactive leader who cares immensely about the NATEC team, the quality of the engineering technical services that we provide to the Naval Aviation Enterprise, and the unmatched impact NATEC has on aviation readiness.”
Felty was also recognized for leading the development of the P-8A Qualified Proficient Technical Representative curriculum in the Advanced Skills Management program. As a result, 18 technical representatives earned their accreditation, enabling NATEC Sites Whidbey Island and Jacksonville to provide highly responsive troubleshooting assistance and over-the-shoulder training to seven squadrons. These standards are now used by the Navy to qualify Sailors as technical representatives on the aircraft.
There is a distinct difference between managers and leaders that is reflected in the effectiveness of products and services provided to the fleet, according to Felty.
“My approach to identifying and developing solutions to challenges is simple—communicate, anticipate, be flexible,” he said. “But it takes a proficient workforce in conjunction with engaged leadership to ensure NATEC provides the high level of support to the Fleet and the program offices. Providing readiness starts with communication.”