By Julie M. Lucas

NAS Jacksonville Public Affairs Specialist

Naval Air Station Jacksonville chief petty officer (CPO) selectees held a teambuilding evolution washing aircraft at Heritage Park and offering a barbecue lunch to spectators Aug. 10. Nearly 90 CPO selectees participated in the annual plane-washing event.

"The reason behind the plane wash is for the selectees to learn humility," said ASC Howard Williams of Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, who was the leading chief petty officer for the event. "Washing planes isn't a typical job of a chief, but they need to put themselves in the shoes of their Sailors and what they do daily to be a great leader."

Williams elaborated that by taking food orders of current and former chiefs, dealing with picky people, prepping food and setting everything up will reinforce the lesson of the event.

The selectees prepared hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks for nearly 300 people who turned out for the event. 

The selectees battled windy conditions and smoke to get the food cooked in time to feed everyone, while their counterparts took turns manning hoses and scrubbing all parts of aircraft on display. The selectees organized this event less than one week of being notified of their selections.

"Nothing about this process has been what I thought it would be like," said ADC (select) Jacob Nanney of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74. "I'm glad we have a chance to help clean up the base during the process."

Numerous other events are planned including car washes and the annual CPO Pride Day on Sept. 8. The training evolution concludes with a CPO Pinning ceremony Sept. 15.