Technician of the Year 2020

ABE2 Ivan Moreno inspects an overhalued engine for the E-28 Emergency Arresting Gear. The arresting gear is used in shore installations to arrest tail-hhok equipped aircraft in emergency situations. Moreno, from Tyler, Texas, is assistant lead petty officer in NAS Kingsville, Texas, field support. In June, Moreno was named Navy Region Southeast Shore Based Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ABE) Technician of the Year for 2020 and is competing for the honor at Commander, Navy Installations Command. (Photo by Rod Hafemeister)

A Naval Air Station Kingsville sailor is being honored for his leadership and ensuring aircraft arresting equipment is fully operational.

In June, ABE2 Ivan Moreno was named the Navy Region Southeast Shore Based Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ABE) Technician of the Year.

Moreno, from Tyler, Texas, enlisted in the Navy in June 2013. He was the first member of his family to serve in the military.

“I wanted an opportunity to get out of my hometown, get higher education to better my future and to make my family proud,” he said.

And he was attracted to the ABE rate.

“I was intrigued by the mechanical work I would be doing on the flight deck,” he said. “And working with jets is what I wanted to do.”

Moreno served on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS George Washington (CVN 73) before coming to NAS Kingsville, where he serves as assistant leading petty officer in Field Support.

ABHC Jeoffrey Mamaril, the base Field Support chief petty officer, said Moreno was the obvious choice to be nominated for the award.

“We look at who is running the shop and he’s the one who sticks out,” Mamaril said.

Mamaril said Moreno “steered that group” through an inspection in December where they received a 100 percent equipment operational readiness rate.

Inspectors also gave Moreno high accolades for his improvement of records management and maintenance/repair.

“We gave him more responsibility because he earned it,” Mamaril said. “He’s very intelligent and his leadership is phenomenal.

“He doesn’t’ make excuses. He looks for the right decisions for the gear and the sailors. That’s what we need.”

The award nomination states that in addition to his regular duties, Moreno is cited for leading 27 sailors in the completion of 2,304 pre-operational checks and 2,560 scheduled and unscheduled maintenance actions, resulting in 43 “mishap-free” arrestments.

He identified a faulty torque converter and led a team that repaired it and returned it to service in less than 24 hours, ensuring annual gear certification was completed on time.

And Moreno trained and held boards for team members in 17 maintenance professional qualification standards, increasing work center flexibility and mission effectiveness.

Moreno was also commended for establishing various standard operation procedures, spot checks and a robust tool control program.

Moreno now goes on to compete with other ABEs across the Commander, Navy Installations Command enterprise.

“Working with colleagues doesn’t feel like work,” Moreno said. “It feels like hanging out with friends and fixing lifesaving equipment.

“Knowing that what I do is an important part of the Navy is why I feel good about it.”

But he’s also looking to the future, which includes getting a college degree and a different role in the Navy.

“I have a vision. My long-term goal is to become a pilot in the world’s greatest Navy,” he said.

“It’s been a dream I’ve had since I was little.”

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