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NSA Mid-South continues strong presence and support of Millington

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Capt. Steve Fimple

Capt. Steve Fimple

The Naval Support Activity Mid-South Base has been a part of the fabric of Millington since the 1940s. The current location opened in November 1917 as Park Field. Since it has undergone multiple name changes housing military personnel. The name finally became NSA Mid-South on Oct. 1, 1998, to more closely identify the base’s mission requirements and to reflect the Navy’s approach to regionalization.

With a strong presence in Millington from uniform personnel and employing thousands, the base is looking to improve its relationship in the community even more under the leadership of Command Officer Captain Steve Fimple.

Fimple arrived in Flag City for the first time in July 2011.

“I have not been to Millington before,” he acknowledged. “I had not been stationed here. It was certainly brand new to me. The thing that struck me first was the rapport in the community. I had never been stationed anywhere that had more support for the Navy and the military in general as Millington does.

“The people are genuine and down-to-earth, friendly, frankly the best people I’ve ever been around,” Fimple added. “We get so much support here. It makes our job, quite frankly, very easy. When the community supports you and supports what you do, being here is like working with your neighbors. It’s very pleasant.”

The bond of the base and the city grew stronger just before Fimple’s arrival in May 2010. Millington and NSA Mid-South suffered floods after a pouring rain overflowed the rivers. The leaders of both the city and base came together to make sure residents on the base, Indian Meadows, Shelby Oaks, Waverly and other parts of Millington were safe.

Fimple was informed of those heroic stories and how the base increased it’s working relationships with the Millington Police and Fire departments.

Members of both departments can be found working with the base’s personnel. The secured base has many entities functioning everyday.

“As the commanding officer of the base, we have about 47 tenant commands on the base,” Fimple noted. “So, 47 other commands are working on the base. Some of our major tenants are Navy Personnel Command. What they do, from the day the sailor enters the Navy until the day they retire, they manage their records and careers.”

Other large tenants on the base are Navy Recruiting Command and Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center.

“Mostly were an administrative base in nature,” Fimple said. “We no longer own the deer field across the street, still a very important hub of activity here.”

Across the street houses the Pat Thompson Center and N-82 Gymnasium which has been used by Millington Central High School, events like Taste of Millington and as a security zone.

The base police worked with the MPD last school year after a manhunt started near the Millington Elementary campus. The base gym was the safe haven for the children until the parents arrived.

Recently the base fire department worked with the MFD to extinguish a brush fire. The working relationship with the MFD and MPD extend outside of work.

One of two national events held by NSA Mid-South is National Night Out. The 2012 event was canceled because of weather. But normally the soccer field near the base gymnasium is platform for informational booths on safety.

The base’s second nationwide event is the 10-Mile Nautical event brings hundreds of participants. Last year 800 participants came to Millington from states like Minnesota, West Virginia and Texas.

“We also support our funeral honors,” Fimple noted. “We have more than 45,000 retirees in the Tri-State area. We support all those retirees here on  base. We also do those funeral honors in the Tri-State area. We had more than 500 of those we supported last year.”

The base’s personnel also supports Millington by patronizing local businesses. The blue uniforms can be spotted from eateries on Navy Road like Skip’s to the new Applebee’s on Highway 51.

“I go to Old Timers once a month at least as part of the Chamber of Commerce,” Fimple said. “Just a lot of charm there and it looks like a lot of history there as well. We’ve got probably a little over 8,000 civilians and military here that live in or around the community. All those places we’re frequenting.”

The leaders of the base are also frequenting meetings that will impact Millington for years to come. Along with participation in Leadership Millington, base personnel is building relationships with the new leadership of Millington like City Manager Thomas Christie, Mayor Terry Jones, City Engineer Darek Baskins and Chamber President Charles Gulotta.

“It always been a two-way conversation with folks here,” Fimple concluded. “We work well together.”

 

 

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