NORFOLK (NNS) - Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic (NCTAMS LANT) has been a fixture at a bend along Moffett Avenue on Naval Station Norfolk for decades.
The command is a mere stone's throw from Willoughby Bay, but, still, one would hardly mistake it for having a grey hull and twin propellers. However, it finally received an anchor, delivered by forklift, Friday, Dec. 14.
As the regional command for ensuring superiority in communications, and the key link for all units underway and otherwise, there is no mistaking its operational significance.
"Always on watch and at the ready the men and women of NCTAMS LANT vigilantly ensure the lines of communication for our ships, submarines, aircraft, and supporting units remain open," said Capt. Jody Grady, commanding officer of NCTAMS LANT. "I couldn't be more proud to accept this anchor to be displayed in front of our headquarters as a permanent reminder of our operational commitment."
The anchor has long been a symbol for a Navy forward deployed, and NCTAMS LANT ensures that the Navy networks and information systems for those units are fully capable. Because of this capability, the Navy's lethality, readiness, and capacity to support and defend our country's security is at its highest.
This 76-year-old, three-ton stockless anchor was most recently part of Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.
"It's not exactly a simple evolution to move three tons of iron," said Lt. Cmdr. Gary Hughes, NCTAMS LANT head of facilities and safety. "Using eight Sailors, a 10K forklift, and the building skills of Petty Officer First Class Ronald Call, we were able to safely deliver the anchor to a great display area next to our flagpole that our command will be proud of for years."
This project was also supported by Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).
In addition to receiving the anchor, the command also has the honor of painting it gold.
This retention excellence award presented by U.S. Fleet Forces Command represents an organizational culture that encourages Sailors to reenlist. In the case of NCTAMS LANT, more than 95 percent of Sailors set to leave the Navy this past year have decided to rededicate themselves to several more years in service to their country.
Specifically, the award is presented annually to ships, squadrons, staffs and shore commands that have achieved a minimum score of 90 points on their annual Command Career Information Program review, along with attaining benchmarks that demonstrate that the command is providing effective programming to strengthen support for their Sailors.
"Our goal is never to pressure, but to present to Sailors all of their options," said Navy Chief Petty Officer Nate Downey, the NCTAMS LANT regional career counselor. "The Navy – and particularly NCTAMS LANT – gives an information technology, electronics, and communications professional so many possibilities for career development, that it makes sense for a vast amount of personnel to continue their careers with the Navy."
NCTAMS LANT, with its new, golden anchor, continues to show the Navy and its communications capabilities at its best: well led, prepared, and innovative.
The command operationally reports to U.S. Fleet Cyber Command - Commander, U.S. TENTH Fleet – which is responsible for the Navy's information network operations, offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, space operations and signals intelligence.