By Clark Pierce
Capt. Howard Wanamaker will relinquish command of NAS Jacksonville to Executive Officer Capt. Sean Haley Aug. 18 at 9 a.m. in Hangar 117. Rear Adm. Mary Jackson, commander, Navy Region Southeast will be the guest speaker.
The station's 110 tenant commands, 14 forward deployed squadrons, thousands of civilians and Sailors, along with their families, have benefitted because of Wanamaker's unflinching leadership during major projects to improve military readiness.
His tour as commanding officer was characterized by unmatched readiness and support to the Fleet, Fighter and Family.
Wanamaker masterfully ensured the largest installation in the Navy Region Southeast, and third-largest in the Navy, delivered the most effective and efficient readiness from the shore by setting the highest standards of excellence - in all areas of business enhancements, innovation, quality of life, quality of service, and support.
Specific accomplishments include the flawless execution of the $52 million comprehensive runway renovation, including the temporary relocation of all fixed-wing squadrons to Cecil Airport, along with 50 aircraft and 2,200 military personnel, including fire and security police support; energy conservation and environmental stewardship; leading the alignment of requirements with resources; developing facility maintenance and repair projects including commissioning and completing the P-8A and Triton unmanned aerial systems training center, and construction of the new $15M Triton command and control center, with a focus on warfighting readiness and energy saving initiatives in support of tomorrow's force.
Wanamaker's and Haley's leadership was recently rewarded with the NAS Jacksonville Safety Program being recognized by the newly established Department of Defense Voluntary Protection Programs achievement award.
In order to improve quality of life and service to more than 200,000 monthly patrons, NAS Jacksonville staff partnered with DeCA to build a new Commissary super store. They also partnered with the NEX to renovate their existing facility.
Wanamaker was also the driving force behind installation awards including: SECNAV Gold Energy Award (Large Shore); CNO Environmental Award; CNRSE Environmental Stewardship Award Flagship Award and Fire Prevention Program of the Year Award; North Florida Planning Council Environmental Stewardship Award, City of Jacksonville Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Award; Florida Department of Environmental Protection Clean Marina Award, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Leadership Award (first award to a military installation); Morale Welfare and Recreation maintained Star Accreditation; the child development center achieved a new five-year term accreditation; awarded seventh consecutive CEL "A List" Award for Excellence in Customer Service; Navy's Best Navy Lodge Award; nominated by Commander, Navy Region Southeast for the annual Capt. Edward F. Ney Award Large General Mess Category at the galley; CNIC Life Saving Award and the CNIC FY15 Retention Excellence Award; lauded by Navy Safety Center for remarkable motorcycle safety program success, and several other awards and accreditations. At every endeavor, NAS Jacksonville has performed superbly - because of leadership involvement.
Wanamaker and Haley are fondly referred to as the "Dream Team." They understood the importance of service to the fleet and were committed to NAS Jacksonville's mission of "Sustaining, Enabling, and Supporting Warfighting Readiness" through respect and dignity, along with supporting CNIC's strategic goals.
Wanamaker and his family will reside in Jacksonville. He has been appointed as the director of human resources for Hanania Automotive Group, comprised of 15 dealerships, one collision center and more than 500 personnel from Jacksonville to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Capt. Sean Haley graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1992. He was designated a naval aviator in 1994 and reported to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 40 in Mayport for training in the SH-60B Seahawk.
Haley's first operational assignment was with HSL-48 "Vipers" in Mayport. He deployed with detachments aboard USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Normandy (CG 60 where he served as assistant detachment operations and maintenance officer. Ashore, he was recognized as the 1998 Squadron Pilot of the Year.
In 1999, Haley reported to the HSL-40 "Airwolves" as an SH-60B instructor pilot. While assigned, he served as the avionics/armament division and quality assurance officer.
In 2001, Haley reported to Naval Strike ad Air Warfare Center at NAS Fallon, Nevada for training as a Seahawk weapons and tactics instructor (SWTI).
Upon graduation, Haley returned to HSL-48 for duties as the squadron SWTI where he assisted in the design and development of a tactical online detachment training system.
Haley then reported to Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala., where he completed phase one of his Joint Professional Military Education.
In Sept. 2003, Haley reported to the HSL-46 "Grandmasters" for his department head tour. He served as the Detachment 2 officer-in-charge on board USS Spruance (DD 963).
He also completed a deployment to the Arabian Gulf with USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Carrier Strike Group. Ashore, he served as squadron maintenance officer and safety officer - and was named as 2005 Squadron Officer of the Year.
From November 2005 to March 2008, Haley served as an action officer in the Joint Operations Division, Current Operations Directorate (J3) of the joint staff, in Washington D.C. While assigned, he spearheaded the transfer of operations in Afghanistan from U.S. to NATO control under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and aligned worldwide NATO operations with the Global force Management System.
In November 2008, Haley reported to HSL-44 as executive officer - and later assumed command of HSM-74 "Swamp Foxes" when they transitioned to the new MH-60R platform and changed their homeport to NAS Jacksonville.
They achieved full operational certification six months ahead of schedule.
In 2010, the squadron was awarded the "Golden Wrench" for excellence in maintenance.
From July 2011 to April 2013, Haley was assigned as the sensors, ASW, aviation and directed energy branch head in the Surface Warfare Directorate (N96) on the OPNAV staff. In May 2013, he transferred to the OPNAV Air Warfare Directorate (N98) where he served as the multi-mission branch head and MH-60R requirements officer.
In February 2015, Haley reported to NAS Jacksonville as executive officer.