JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON TX –
The commander of U.S. Navy Installations Command and
commander of Navy Region Southeast
visited several San Antonio-area Navy facilities and commands Dec. 7 as part of
a trip to military installations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
The trip was Vice Adm. Dixon Smith’s first visit to
“Military City USA” since assuming command of CNIC in October 2014.
Rear Adm. Mary Jackson has previously visited San Antonio.
As the CNRSE commander, her geographical region includes the four states they
Smith said he was in San Antonio to ensure Navy commands are
receiving proper installation support and to address any issues with Navy
leaders and commanding officers, and with the local Air Force installation
“If there are problems top Navy leadership needs to know
about, I will take that directly to them,” Smith told Navy Capt. Jim LeTexier,
Navy Medicine Education and Training Command deputy commander at Joint Base San
Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, who met with Smith and Jackson.
Smith and Jackson’s meetings with local senior leadership
included Brig. Gen. Bob LaBrutta, 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA commander, which
includes JBSA-Randolph, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Camp
Bullis. JBSA is the largest joint base in the Department of Defense consisting
of 266 tenant commands and organizations referred to as mission partners.
Ten of those mission partners are Navy commands, units and
detachments with more than 10,000 active, reserve and student Sailors, Navy
civilian employees and Navy family members who call San Antonio home.
The CNIC and CNRSE visited the Navy student barracks on
JBSA-Fort Sam Houston where Hospital Corps “A” and “C” school students
attending the Medical Education and Training Campus reside. The admirals
requested “permission to come aboard” from Hospital Corps “A” school students
standing watch at the barracks quarterdeck before being announced via the
building’s public address system.
They also stopped in at the new Navy and Marine Corps Relief
Society location on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston that opened in 2014.
Smith’s mission might be Navy installations and facilities,
but his passion is Sailors. This was obvious as he shared lunch with Hospital
Corps “A” school students at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston tri-service student
dining facility. Students joined both
Smith and Jackson at their tables where the conversation topics ranged from their
“A” school training to the quality of the food to a missing lampshade in the
“It is always good to have a senior ‘fleet sailor admiral’
visit ‘A’ school students and take time to break bread and talk with them,”
LeTexier said. “Truly great leaders always make time to visit with juniors and
sincerely listen to their concerns. This was one of those moments.”
The admirals also spent time at the Center for the Intrepid,
a world-class center providing care for military combat casualties from all
military branches. CFI’s three-fold mission is providing rehabilitation for
service members who have sustained amputation, burns, or functional limb loss;
providing education to DOD and Department of Veteran’s Affairs professionals on
cutting edge rehabilitation modalities; and promoting research in the fields of
orthopedics, prosthetics and physical/occupational rehabilitation.
Smith and Jackson ended their San Antonio visit at
JBSA-Lackland and the Navy Technical Training Center Master at Arms “A” school
where Navy MAs train side by side with Air Force Military Police.
“The visit with Admirals Smith and Jackson went well,” said
Lt. Cmdr. Rob Collett, NTTC Lackland executive officer. “Vice Adm. Smith was particularly focused on
facilities and the support we’re receiving from JBSA.”
The NTTC tour consisted of an inspection of the headquarters
buildings, the student barracks and schoolhouse and a military working dog
LeTexier, who represented the traveling Rear Adm. Rebecca
McCormick-Boyle, NMETC commander and San Antonio’s senior Navy officer, said
CNIC’s visit was chock-full of successes.
“I believe Vice Adm. Smith’s visit to San Antonio-area Navy
commands accomplished many things,” LeTexier said. “For example, it gave him an understanding of
the types and locations of the Navy commands.
It also sent the message to our
Sailors that the Navy supports them, which is vital in a joint Army and
Air Force environment. Besides, knowing where Sailors live, work and train is
simply a sign of good senior leadership.”