NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Patuxent River, Md. — The Baltimore Federal Executive Board recognized the efforts of a Patuxent River manager during its annual Excellence in Federal Career Awards luncheon May 5 in Baltimore.

Mark Cusic, the aircraft equipment maintenance manager at Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA) Detachment Patuxent River, was named the gold winner in the outstanding supervisor category, GS-12 and below. The BFEB program honors top General Service Wage Grade and other federal pay scale employees nominated from more than 130 federal agencies and installations throughout Maryland.

“I am extremely lucky to work for two outstanding supervisors who worked really hard to have me recognized as a gold winner,” Cusic said. “The people who really deserve the award are the team I supervise or work with every day.”

Cusic manages the majority of aviation support equipment at FRCMA Det. Pax. Aviation support equipment is used on the flight line to service aircraft between flights.

Notably, he provides day-to-day supervision of 33 military, government and contractor personnel who help maintain and manage more than 1,400 individual material readiness list items, test benches and calibration equipment valued at $37 million. His team has completed more than 9,700 maintenance actions for the flight line — with an average readiness rate of 95 percent — and has executed more than 7,000 mishap-free flight hours for research, development, acquisition, test and evaluation requirements.

“My job is to make sure my team has what they need to perform their functions,” Cusic said, referring to tools, parts, manuals, training and more.

Capt. Keith Nixon, FRCMA commander, wrote in the award nomination packet,  “… his involvement and oversight as the detachment’s Support Equipment Division supervisor and leader, including his role and appointment as the weight handling equipment program manager, were critical to the overall success of my organization. He provided clear-cut guidance, direction and the forward vision necessary to achieve and deliver exceptional quality of products, services and readiness to the fleet.”

“He’s there for a reason,” Tom Thompson, FRCMA Det. Pax deputy director and Cusic’s supervisor, said. “Mark started here in January 1999 at the bottom as a [wage grade] WG-5 helper, and he worked his way up, like a salmon swimming upstream. He’s also very savvy with the support equipment.”

When not working, you can probably find Cusic on the baseball fields in Hughesville, Maryland, where he coaches the Hughesville Hustle girls’ softball team.

“Working with these girls helps me be a better manager,” Cusic said. “I’ve learned better ways to present information and coach employees.”

One of those ways includes spending one-on-one time with all his employees, talking to each team member at least once a month to create channels of communication.

“I try to compliment them on their hard work to support the fleet,” he said. “But I also want to get to them as individuals. I ask them about their families, their kids. We try to take care of each other because we’re a family here.”