Warfighters Corner
From the Tip of the Spear: Joint Warfighter Panels

During I/ITSEC, on Tuesday and Wednesday, attendees will gather for “Warfighters’ Corner: From the Tip of the Spear,” a widely-attended annual event that features recently deployed panel members from each military service.

The stories told during these 90-minute panels help bring realism to the fascinating and innovative training products highlighted on the I/ITSEC floor. Through these individuals, Team Orlando members and other attendees gain an understanding of the impact of the training products and services they deliver. Panel members, chosen by their respective services, share their personal training experiences and reflect on whether it was or wasn’t effective, and why.

Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Air Force
Lt Col Douglas “Verge” Nocera
BIO: Lieutenant Colonel Douglas A. Nocera is currently Chief of F-15E Aircrew Training Devices and F-15E FTU Instructor Pilot, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC.

Lieutenant Colonel Nocera entered the Air Force as a 1998 distinguished graduate of the AFROTC program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He started his flying career as a T-38A instructor pilot immediately following SUPT. His three operational F-15E assignments encompassed all three of the current F-15E bases in Idaho, England, and North Carolina. From those assignments he deployed in support of three AEF rotations, two of which supported Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. From RAF Lakenheath, he also deployed to Aviano AB in support of Operation ODYSSEY DAWN. Between F-15E assignments, Lt Col Nocera completed two joint billet short tours and attended Air Command and Staff College.

We will have Sergeant Major Gary Smith the Command Sergeant Major for Marine Corps Systems Command speaking at Warfighters Corner on Tuesday 29 November 2016. NAWCTSD


Scott M. Smith, Captain, United States Navy

Captain Smith serves as the commander of Pre-Commissioning Unit MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001).

Captain Smith’s operational assignments include deployments from the east and west coast in USS DONALD B. BEARY (FF 1085); USS COLE (DDG 67); USS STETHEM (DDG 63); USS RAMAGE (DDG 61), and, as Chief Staff Officer for the Commander, Destroyer Squadron 28 embarked in USS EISENHOWER (CVN 69) and USS BOXER (LHD 4).

Crews from these ships cumulatively earned multiple Battle Efficiency Awards, and Joint, Navy, and Meritorious Unit Commendations.
Captain Smith commanded USS KLAKRING (FFG 42) from 2009-2011 and deployed independently to the Black, Adriatic, and North Seas, and nine months later, circumnavigated South America as part of the UNITAS exercise series. KLAKRING’s crew garnered consecutive “Golden Anchor” Awards for Retention Excellence; the Ship’s Service Excellence Award; the Unit Tactics Award; and, the Battle Efficiency Award.

Ashore, CAPT Smith served as a Combat Systems Instructor at Surface Warfare Officers School; as a member of the Commander’s Action Group (CAG) and Speechwriter to the Commander, US Fleet Forces Command; as a member of the Chairman’s Action Group (CAG) and Speechwriter to the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey; and, as the Deputy to the Secretary of Defense’s Senior Advisor for Military Professionalism.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Virginia Military Institute and Master’s Degrees from the University of Massachusetts (Professional Writing) and the National War College (National Security Strategy).

In addition to awards earned with his shipmates, he has received the United States Navy League Scroll of Honor and the Navy League City of Newport Award. He is a certified Explorador Del Estrecho de Magallanes and an Honorary Admiral in the Navy of the State of Alabama. With his shipmates in MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001), he was made an Honorary Currahee – a member of the 506th Infantry Regiment (Air Assault).

Wednesday, Nov. 30 10:30 a.m. to Noon

Air Force
Lt Col Alexander “Hazard” Heyman
BIO: Lt Col Alex “Hazard” Heyman is Director of Operations, 9th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Hood, TX. In this role, he ensures the training and readiness of over 100 Tactical Air Control Party Officers and Enlisted Airmen, providing combat-ready Air Liaison Officers and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers in support of four geographic Combatant Commanders. His has previously served as an Instructor Pilot at Undergraduate Pilot Training, Mission Commander in the F-16, and Deputy Director of the Afghanistan Air Support Operations Center. He has extensive experience with simulators to include those used at UPT, F-16, MQ-1, ASOC, and ASOS. Hazard is a Senior Pilot with over 2400 hours in the F-16, T-37, T-6, and T-38 aircraft and is a veteran of Operations NOBLE EAGLE and ENDURING FREEDOM.

Marines will have LtCol Marcus Mainz the Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion 6th Marine Regiment speaking. LtCol Mainz is leading the Marine Corps with the innovative “Decision Room” concept for cognitive skills training for his Marines. LtCol Mainz will have two of his Marines in the PM TRASYS booth illustrating the “Decision Room” training concepts.

cdr-gay-2While assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/FIFTH Fleet, CDR Gil Gay reviewed, assessed, and implemented plans for the conduct of maritime operations across the FIFTH Fleet Area of Responsibility.

Gilbert “GG” Gay, a native of Homestead, Florida, graduated from the University of Memphis with a Degree in Engineering Technology in 1997 and earned his Naval Aviator Wings in June of 2000.

CDR Gay is a maritime patrol pilot and completed tours in two fleet squadrons, the VP-45 Pelicans and VP-5 Mad Foxes, as well as a disassociated sea tour as a Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer on the USS Harry S. Truman. He also completed tours as an operational planner at FOURTH Fleet in Mayport, Florida and FIFTH Fleet in Manama, Bahrain.

CDR Gay has completed deployments to Iceland, Puerto Rico, Italy, Japan and the Arabian Gulf. He is a 2010 graduate of the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS) with advanced level instruction in operational planning.

CDR Gay is entitled to wear the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award) Navy Commendation Medal (4th Award), Navy Achievement Medal and various personal, unit and service awards.


While assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Manama, Bahrain, CDR Gil “GG” Gay was the Strategy and Assessments Branch Chief within the deliberate plans section of the Maritime Operations Center (MOC) Future Plans Cell.

CDR Gay was responsible for the continuous assessment of all plans, operations and activities conducted by FIFTH Fleet in support of Combatant Commander desired objectives and named operations, including Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

As the strategy lead, CDR Gay conducted detailed reviews of the Chief of Naval Operations strategic design and assisted the OPNAV staff with the development of required annexes. He led a cross functional planning team in the creation and implementation of a Maritime Campaign Plan that organized all operations, activities and actions into four Lines of Operation.