NAVAIR Sustainment Group honors ‘Father of Logistics’ during annual awards ceremony

By Allison Murawski | Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst | Aug. 14, 2019

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. —

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Sustainment Group recognized members of its workforce during a ceremony on the Lakehurst side of base July 31 for their innovation and dedication to supporting the fleet.

The 19th 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 Logistics 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.

Thomas Rudowsky, NAVAIR Sustainment director, visited NAWCAD Lakehurst to present the awards, and was joined by Michael G. Simodejka’s widow Pat Simodejka and her family.

There were 10 nominees from across NAWCAD Lakehurst, NAWCAD Patuxent River and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) Orlando.

“They exemplify the dedication and passion I see throughout the workforce,” Rudowsky said of the nominees. “Their efforts are taking logistics to the next level, enabling us to work more cohesively to deliver capabilities to the fleet. Today, we are recognizing the work that is critical to understanding how naval aviation operates. It’s the first step to readiness.” 

Jeffrey Blackstock, the Analytics and Analysis team lead from the Aviation Readiness and Maintenance Analysis Branch at Patuxent River, received the award for “Outstanding Logistics Manager of the Year.”

Blackstock was recognized for addressing and solving critical issues in the development of a standard algorithm used by all type/model/series platform teams to formulate component priority lists for the Reliability Control Boards.

The Navigation, Seamanship, and Shiphandling Training (NSST) Logistics Integrated Product Team (IPT) from NAWCTSD Orlando was presented the “Outstanding Logistics Team of the Year” award via video teleconference during the ceremony.

The team was recognized for providing individual, team and multi-team navigation training worldwide, including upgrades to realistic virtual training simulations in support of maintaining peak seamanship proficiency.

“It was a great pleasure to take part in this annual ceremony honoring Michael Simodejka,” said Danielle Baldwin, director for Logistics and Industrial Operations at NAWCAD Lakehurst. “Congratulations to the award recipients and to all those who were nominated. Your significant accomplishments and contributions continue to play an essential role in support of the fleet and in defining the professionalism of our logistics community.”