Summary The Southern Maryland Navy Alliance held its Annual Membership Meeting and Dinner at the State House at Historic St. Mary’s City last Thursday, with distinguished guest speaker, Daniel L. Nega, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Nega encourages the base to give local tours of hangars to connect the community, especially innovative young people, to the base and the Navy Alliance.
The Southern Maryland Navy Alliance held its annual membership meeting and dinner near the State House at Historic St. Mary’s City on Oct. 3, featuring Daniel L. Nega, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, as the guest speaker.
Tim Heely, president of the alliance, kicked the evening off beneath an elegantly decorated tent with opening remarks before the presentation of awards to major benefactors.
The attendees enjoyed catered dinner and dessert and mingled as they waited for the introduction of the guest speaker.
“This is an annual dinner, we get people from the Pentagon, industry, astronauts” and others, to give the community a flavor of what’s in Washington and to remind Washington that the work done in Southern Maryland is important, too, Heely said, adding, “We’re not all dropping bombs, it’s not the real sexy work.”
Heely, a retired rear admiral, emphasized how important it is to make Southern Maryland an attractive place to young people who have new and innovative ideas, and to start hiring these people.
Gary Kessler, executive vice president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, took the stage to introduce Nega. In addition to serving as the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, Nega is also the principal adviser to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition on matters relating to aircraft, crisis missiles, air-launched weapons, airborne sensors, avionics and related support equipment.
Nega discussed the state of naval aviation in the region as well as retention.
“How do we keep young people here who have good ideas?” asked Nega, wanting to get more people involved with the base and potentially show off the planes that they are working with.
Nega suggested that the base organize local tours of hangars where the aircraft are held, and to connect the community with the Southern Maryland Naval Alliance.
“Naval aviation people appreciate the difficulty of the task, of our mission. Our mission is well regarded, our outcome is well regarded,” Nega said in concluding his speech.
Barbara Ives of California, wife of Glen Ives, previously a commanding officer at Pax River, has two sons in the U.S. Naval Academy.
“This event shows big support for the Navy and all the work they do to bridge the gap on and off base,” Barbara Ives said, adding that she attends the dinner every year and always has a great time.