by Ryan Labadens, U.S. Navy Public Affairs

The Navy Gateway Inn and Suites (NGIS) at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport, Miss., received the 2019 Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt award for excellence in lodging management March 15, 2019.

This is the third time in a row that the NGIS facility here has received the Zumwalt award, which is the most prestigious award NGIS facilities can receive through the Navy Lodging Accreditation Program. The two previous times the lodging facilities here were reviewed and awarded was in 2015 and 2017.

Capt. William Whitmire, NCBC Gulfport commanding officer, praised the NGIS team onboard NCBC Gulfport for their stellar service that helped them to earn this award for yet a third time.

“Winning the Zumwalt award is a huge feather in the cap for the team over at NGIS. They have certainly earned it through their hard work and their personal commitment to providing outstanding customer service and an excellent lodging experience to the patrons. While I’m not surprise, I am extremely proud of them – again – for a job well done,” said Whitmire.

The Zumwalt award was established in 1974 by the Secretary of the Navy to greatly improve customer service, operations, financial management, facilities and the lodging experience as a whole for NGIS guests. The goal of this program is to ensure that reliable and excellent management is provided by all Navy lodging facilities around the world.

According to Peggy Morgan, NGIS housekeeping manager for NCBC Gulfport, lodging facilities are reviewed through unannounced inspections conducted by members of the accreditation committee for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). The inspectors visit different installations between January and June each year.

Once on base, the inspectors check in as regular guests and do not let the facility staff know who they are until the next morning. The results of the evaluations are given to the base’s commanding officer once completed.

Gulfport’s lodging facility is considered large since it has more than 200 rooms and serves more than 30,000 patrons per year, which is a high volume even for a large facility due to the heavy training mission present on the Seabee base. Since the NGIS staff is currently only about 65- to 70-percent manned, this makes receiving the award an even more impressive achievement.

“We’re all like one huge family in that if something needs to be done, we all pitch in to help out to get it accomplished,” said Katie Brockway, NGIS front desk supervisor for NCBC Gulfport.

Simone Callaghan, NGIS general manager for NCBC Gulfport, mentioned how proud she was of the accomplishments and the service provided to patrons by her staff here at NCBC Gulfport.

“This award shows how we all work together as a team to help serve the customers and to take care of what needs to be done to make their stay the best that we can make it for them,” said Callaghan.