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Executive Director for NAVAIR Logistics and Industrial Operations Department Capt. Donald Simmons announces the winners of the Michael G. Simodejka Awards during a ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey Dec. 6. (U.S. Navy photo)

NAWCAD recognizes excellence, innovation at logistics awards ceremony

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Logistics and Industrial Operations Department recognized members of its workforce during a ceremony on the Lakehurst side of base Dec. 6 for their innovation and dedication to supporting the fleet.

The 18th Annual Michael G. Simodejka Awards continued the tradition of honoring Michael G. Simodejka, the father of the NAVAIR logistics community and first civilian director of the Logistics Competency for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD).

In 2000, Simodejka and six other NAVAIR employees were killed in a shuttle flight accident as they were traveling from Lakehurst to Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.

Executive Director for NAVAIR Logistics and Industrial Operations Department Capt. Donald Simmons was on hand to provide remarks and present the awards.

“Mr. Simodejka was a visionary, loved the Navy, always put the warfighter first,” said Simmons. “His hard work and professionalism are well known, as is his concern for all those who worked for him and with him. His influence on logistics can be seen nearly two decades later, demonstrated by those we are recognizing today.”

Simmons shared a personal story from his time as an admiral’s aide when he met Simodejka at Lakehurst in 1997. He commented how often aides remain in the background and unnoticeable, but Simodejka took it upon himself to talk to Simmons and ask how he was doing.

“It was his concern for my wellbeing that I still remember more than 20 years later,” said Simmons.

Michael Sullivan was presented the award for “Outstanding Logistics Manager of the Year” from NAWCAD Logistics and Industrial Operations Department Patuxent River Site Lead Mindy Hermann via video teleconference from NAS Patuxent River.

Sullivan was recognized for his drive and commitment to working with partners across the fleet to increase the readiness and supportability of the E-6B Mercury.

Both his business acumen and innovation in support of the logistics community were particularly of note, said Simmons.

The NAWCAD Lakehurst Technical Data Group was presented with the “Outstanding Logistics Team of the Year” award from Simmons at the Lakehurst site ceremony.

The Technical Data Group was recognized for their efforts in providing cost savings, improved accuracy and timely delivery of technical data to program offices and the fleet.

The team maintains technical data for the entire Common Support Equipment (CSE) and Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) portfolios, and over 90 percent of the Peculiar Support Equipment (PSE) portfolio.

“Selected from an impressive pool of nominees, they reflect the qualities of what the Michael G. Simodejka Award represents, logistic professionalism, innovation and commitment to excellence,” said Simmons of the award winners.

Simodejka’s widow Pat Simodejka and her family, who have attended the ceremony since its inception, provided congratulations to the winners.

“Thank you all for continuing to remember Mike and for continuing to acknowledge the contributions that he made to this organization,” said Simodejka.

Acting Site Lead for the NAWCAD Lakehurst Logistics and Industrial Operations Department Jeff Lewis also reflected upon Simodejka’s legacy and congratulated the winners in his closing remarks.

“We appreciate the efforts of all submitters in putting together the nomination packages and all those nominated for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions this year,” said Lewis.

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Pat Simodejka discusses her late husband Michael G. Simodejka’s legacy during the 18th Annual Michael G. Simodejka Awards at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey Dec. 6. (U.S. Navy photo)

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Executive Director for NAVAIR Logistics and Industrial Operations Department Capt. Donald Simmons (left) and Pat Simodejka, widow of Michael G. Simodejka, (right) present the NAWCAD Lakehurst Technical Data Group with the “Outstanding Logistics Team of the Year” award during the 18th Annual Michael G. Simodejka Awards at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey Dec. 6. (U.S. Navy photo)

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