Team Leader of the Year brings speed to support equipment needs

By Allison Murawski | NAWCAD Lakehurst Public Affairs | Aug. 27, 2019

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

A Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst team leader was recognized during an award ceremony hosted here Aug. 20 for his leadership and dedication to supporting the fleet.

Paul Durso, Platforms Common Support Equipment (CSE) Team lead for the Common Aviation Support Equipment (SE) Program Office, received the 2019 NAWCAD Lakehurst Program Management Team Leader of the Year award.

“This award focuses on leadership, the way in which you run a team, the way in which you achieve the accomplishments on your program and get the product and services to the fleet, while at the same time keeping your team focused and happy,” said Gerry Mollo, NAWCAD Lakehurst head of program management when presenting the award to Durso. “That’s a testament to yourself, not only your accomplishments but the way in which you run your team.”

Durso was recognized for demonstrating a strong fleet focus and encouraging his team to understand the importance of both acquisition and sustainment in execution of programs.

“Paul has consistently been a high performer whose leadership, meticulous planning, attention to detail, exceptional overall program management skills and personal commitment throughout the years have resulted in numerous critical platforms support equipment items being successfully fielded that will have a long lasting positive impact on the Fleet,” said Jim Deffler, Lakehurst site lead for the program office who nominated Durso.

Under Durso’s leadership, the Shipboard Mobile Electric Power Plant (SMEPP) executed on schedule and achieved Initial Operational Capability in January 2019, providing new capability to support the F-35 aboard ship. The new SMEPP boasts increased electrical capacity to support aircraft with increased power and its higher reliability will result in lower fleet support costs.

“I easily place Paul in the top 5 percent of program managers in the Naval Air Systems Command,” said Sam Winters, assistant program manager for platforms, cryogenics, electrical and hydraulics common SE with the program office. “He is at the top of his class in technical competence. He works hard to meet organizational goals, makes money for the taxpayer and drives his team to give the best support for the warfighter.”

Durso’s other notable efforts over the past year include his team’s work on the Aerial Servicing Platform and Towable Utility Crane.

“Out of the many awards available to us, this is the one that I value most because it's for what I love doing,” Durso said. “I have been fortunate to have a great team, most of us have been together for 15 years, working on many programs and receiving this award would not have been possible without them.  I am truly honored and grateful.”