By Sue Brink, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs
BELLE CHASE, La. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast said goodbye to long time civil service employee Gerald Patnoad, deputy public works officer for Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans, Dec. 31.
Patnoad was recognized for a remarkable career spanning over 49 years.
NAS JRB New Orleans Public Works Officer Lt. Cmdr. Micah Kiletico presented Patnoad with the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for outstanding performance while serving with NAVFAC Southeast from July 2007 to December 2015. The award noted that he demonstrated extraordinary leadership as the senior civilian directing a full spectrum public works department and ensured the top notch delivery of all services related to real property, utilities, construction, maintenance, and transportation regardless of the degree of difficulty or adversity encountered.
"His professionalism, leadership, customer service, and corporate knowledge will be sorely missed in New Orleans," said Kiletico. "To many of us, Gerald not only represented PWD New Orleans, but he is PWD New Orleans as he has been affiliated with installations in the New Orleans area for the past 27 years."
During his time with NAVFAC, Patnoad developed a high performing workforce and maintained a positive, productive, and safe environment for a dynamic and diverse 80-person team comprised of civil servants, military, and contractors.
Notable new construction under his supervision included the $23 million Marine Corps barracks, $13 million air traffic control tower, and the $9 million Naval Air Systems Calibration Laboratory. Other major projects included $21 million in repairs to the airfield, $13 million on the global contingency contract in response to Hurricane Isaac, and $8 million in utilities upgrades to the gas and electrical distribution systems.
During Patnoad's career, he spent 28 years as an enlisted Seabee and Civil Engineer Corps Officer, 11 years as a Base Operating Services (BOS) contract employee and then 10 years with civil service. He served as the Deputy Public Works Officer from July 2007 to December 2015.
"I will be staying here in Belle Chasse," said Patnoad. "I plan on doing some renovations to our house, travel and get involved with volunteer efforts in the local community."
Patnoad recalled some of the great Seabee experiences of his career including two deployments to Vietnam. Highlights included tours when he was the assistant officer in charge of a Seabee team in the Trust Territories and when he was the officer in charge of a detachment in Iwakuni, Japan.
As a Civil Engineer Corps officer he recalled his first tour in public works at NAS Keflavik, Iceland, two years as the public works officer (PWO) at Naval Security Group, Winter Harbor, Maine, and as PWO at NAS JRB New Orleans, and he couldn't forget his fond memories of two tours in Hawaii.
"It has been an honor to serve with Gerald and am thankful for his years of dedication and hard work," said Kiletico. "We all wish him well as he enters the next stage of his life."
Before Patnoad left, he reminded everyone to, "Always remain focused on the needs of our customers and to remember who and why we serve the base."