By NAVEUR/ NAVAF/ SIXTH FLEET Public Affairs
U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Naples earned the first ever unit “Bravo Strike” April 30, 2021, recognizing work performance and Signature Behaviors for their recent COVID-19 vaccination phased approach rollout in Naples, Italy.
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples Adm. Robert P. Burke along with NAVEUR-NAVAF Fleet Master Chief Derrick Walters presented the award to USNH leadership during the command’s morning quarters.
Leadership from across the Sixth Fleet area of operations (AOR) were canvassed to nominate individuals and units who demonstrated Signature Behaviors on a daily basis. Theses 10 Signature Behaviors include: Treat every person with respect, Take responsibility for my actions, Hold others accountable for their actions, Intervene when necessary, Be a leader and encourage leadership in others, Grow personally and professionally every day, Embrace the diversity of ideas, experiences, and backgrounds of individuals, Uphold the highest degree of integrity in professional and personal life, Exercise discipline in conduct and performance, and Contribute to team success through actions and attitudes.
Capt. Chad E. McKenzie, U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy commanding officer said that he was proud of the USNH Naples for making history as the first command to receive the award since its inception in 2020.
"Admiral Burke's recognition of USNH Naples today as the very first Naval Forces Europe Bravo Strike unit award is a testament to everything our staff has done to keep our community safe and Sixth Fleet underway,” said McKenzie.
McKenzie said that USNH personnel contributed to this success in multiple ways including screening incoming and outbound flights, site visits to conduct COVID-19 testing afloat assets, standing extra watches to keep pace with additional operational requirements, continuous contact tracing efforts, and vaccination efforts in support of the entire NSA Naples community.
“Each and every member of U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Naples contributed to this historic achievement,” said McKenzie. “All while executing their primary job responsibilities in an elevated health protection condition environment.”
Since receiving the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021, USNH Naples has coordinated 66 shot exercises with installation leadership to vaccinate more than 5,400 first responders, U.S. Military personnel and family over the age of 18 in Naples. USNH Naples also partnered with Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL) to vaccinate 81% of local nationals who work aboard the installations.
McKenzie said that it was the daily demonstration of signature behaviors that drove these actions and that they also enabled Naples Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) schools to remain open throughout the 2020-2021 school year, and the USS Mt. Whitney (LCC 20) and USS Trenton (LPD 14) continued maritime operations.
"The USNH Naples team has been faced with new challenges every day throughout the pandemic,” said McKenzie. “Each new situation resulting in learning, adaptation, and some of our most junior staff taking on both situational and enduring leadership roles.”
Other leadership including NAVEUR-NAVAF Fleet Master Chief Derrick Walters said that the great work the USNH performed was instrumental in helping other commands in the area function during such a difficult time.
“Their COVID vaccination campaign execution over the last three months has contributed to team success through their actions and attitudes,” said Walters.
Signature Behaviors were developed in conjunction with the Secretary of the Navy’s 21st Century Sailor initiative as a means to emphasize the positive and honorable behavior that Sailors exhibit on a daily basis. Signature Behaviors are designed to assist Sailors to live out of the Navy’s Core Values, Navy Ethos, Culture of Excellence Core Themes, and Core Attributes in a practical manner.
“Today’s Unit Bravo Strike represents our commitment to recognizing; what right looks like within our Navy and highlighting USNH Naples’ Culture of Excellence,” said Walters.
NAVEUR-NAVAF leadership plans to continue to recognize Sailors and civilians around the area of responsibility that continue to serve as the role models for others and reflect the core values during interactions with fellow shipmates.
USNH Naples, the largest naval hospital in Europe, serves a diverse population of over 9,800 beneficiaries. Over 500 staff members at the main hospital, branch health clinic, and Navy Liaison Detachment in Landstuhl, Germany work tirelessly to keep warfighters in the fight and provide care for their families.
NSA Naples is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa, and southwest Asia.
NAVEUR-NAVAF, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security, and stability in Europe and Africa.