U.S. 5th Fleet Announces Sailor of the Year

By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Victoria Kinney Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) — U.S. 5th Fleet announced the selection of Information Systems Technician 1st Class Lenda Flowers, assigned to Task Force (TF) 57 and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 57, as Shore Sailor of the Year during a ceremony held at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Jan. 25.

Flowers, from Pompano Beach, Florida, has been with TF 57 for two years and serves as its leading petty officer, electronic key management system manager and command information assurance manager. Flowers oversees and ensures operations and maintenance of expeditionary combat systems in the fleet’s area of operations.

“This is one of the best days in our Navy,” said Vice Adm. Chris Aquilino, commander, U.S. 5th Fleet. “Today we get to recognize the best of the best. The competition was very close, but in the end, Flowers earned this title. We look forward to seeing her compete at the next level and win.”

Aquilino recognized the finalists for their individual accomplishments, as well as awarded Navy Commendation Medals to the other finalists.

The finalists included; Logistics Specialist 1st Class Jose Ortiz from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command; Logistics Specialist 1st Class Selam Hussein from TF 55 and Destroyer Squadron 50; and Logistics Specialist 1st Class Heather Hankins from TF 53.

Flowers will now move on to compete for Director of Navy Staff’s Sailor of the Year in Washington.

“It’s not about me being Sailor of the Year,” said Flowers. “It’s about what my Sailors and my command have done to get me here. It’s taken everyone, we’re a family. I’ve got their back, and they’ve got mine.”

TF 53 coordinates replenishment-at-sea efforts and delivers passengers, mail, cargo, ammunition, provisions and fuel throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations via air, land and sea modes, helping to ensure Sailors aboard ships have what they need to complete their missions. TF 53 was established in 1992 to perform operational logistical coordination and given tactical control over all assigned logistics forces.

Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50/TF 55 conducts maritime security operations in support of regional security and stability. Its responsibilities include planning and executing a robust regional engagement program with coalition forces from Gulf Cooperation Council nations, Carrier Strike Group 50 and allied surface warfare assets deployed to the Arabian Gulf. Additionally, DESRON 50/ TF 55 exercises administrative responsibility for Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Surface combatants deployed to the Arabian Gulf.

TF 57 provides maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The task force supports four task groups comprised of over 650 personnel, operating from four countries with four variants of P-3 Orion aircraft and Broad Area Maritime Surveillance-Demonstrator.

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

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