Team members tour Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst's prototype and manufacturing facility

Members of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, + Allies, (LGBTQ+A) Diversity Action Teams (DAT) from across NAVAIR tour NAWCAD Lakehurst's prototype and manufacturing facility during a Feb. 7 visit. (U.S. Navy photo)

LGBTQ+A Diversity Action Team champions come to Lakehurst for national meeting

Members of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, + Allies, (LGBTQ+A) Diversity Action Teams (DAT) from across NAVAIR came to Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst for a 3-day meeting designed to strengthen the connection between the groups and find ways to help develop the workforce. 

Among the guests were Roy Harris, SES, Deputy Commander of Fleet Readiness Centers (COMFRC); Jeanine Corzine, SES, Program Manager for Long-Range Fires at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD); and Dr. Serelda Herbin, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) for NAVAIR. 

Sean Loftus, one of the co-leads of Lakehurst’s LGBTQ+A DAT, said having the event on their home turf made it more impactful. 

“It’s an incredible outpouring of effort for everyone to show up and really come together to plan for the future,” Loftus said. “This team has been together for around seven years, and other than the initial founding, this is the first time the full national team has come together. So, this will really lay the footprint for efforts moving forward.” 

The off-site event featured team-building activities, tours of the Lakehurst facilities and strategy sessions to develop new and novel approaches for when they return to their locations. Participants focused on NAVAIR’s core values: 

  • Start with the Fleet: Focus on outcomes that matter to the warfighter. 

  • Change the Game: Be bold. Challenge Assumptions, innovate, learn, and improve. 

  • Win with Inclusion and Respect: Treat your teammates with dignity and respect – always. Support your teammates. 

Fellow Lakehurst co-lead Maureen Gearity, a logistics management specialist for the F/A-18 A/V E-G Support Equipment team, said the event was a good chance for people to meet face-to-face and find ways to support each other. 

“I think it was nice to get all the DAT teams, specifically the LGBTQ+A national team, in one room to get some face time and realize that we’re all here to accomplish the same goal,” Gearity said. “And within that, there was some leadership development and a focus on outward inclusion, which was a really big topic that we wanted to hit home. How do we bring that into the workplace and share with our peers to create a more accepting and open environment for everyone around us at all times, professional and personal?”  

With participants coming from as far away as Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, Gearity said it was encouraging to see the same message shared nationwide, magnifying their message going forward.  

“We definitely do bring our differences, and those are great to have conversations on to understand each other more; I think at the end of the day, what keeps us on the same level is that we’re all just people,” Gearity said. “And I think that was also a big topic that we honed in on yesterday: while our differences make us who we are, that’s not all we are, and we can connect on a deeper level in that sense.”  

Whether they came to Lakehurst by plane or car for the meeting, Gearity said it was great to see everyone get involved and contribute in what she described as a “really inclusive and open and comfortable environment.”   

 

 

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