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In the Spotlight

27 June 2022

From Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Triniti Lersch, Naval Air Station Sigonella Public Affairs Office

From a young age, Michael Balliet looked up to his grandfather, a fire chief in California, and wanted to follow in his footsteps as a firefighter.
From a young age, Michael Balliet looked up to his grandfather, a fire chief in California, and wanted to follow in his footsteps as a firefighter.

Balliet is from Fort Collins, Colo. and has been in federal firefighting jobs for the past 19 years.

“I worked with the Air Force where I started my career as a GS-3, Department of Interior on a hot shoot crew, and the last six years with the Navy,” said Balliet. “My goal is to become a regional fire chief where I can support multiple fire departments across the region in guidance, training, problem solving and mentorship.”

Currently, Balliet is the assistant fire chief of Fire & Emergency Services on Naval Air Station Sigonella, where he arrived in October 2021. This is his first time working overseas. His daily duties include being the health & safety officer for three operation shifts and 87 personnel, overseeing the NAS Sigonella Fire Prevention Division, reviewing new project plans for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Public Works, working with the fire protection engineer, overseeing the inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection/detection systems for multiple tenants, and continuously educating personnel aboard NAS Sigonella on fire safety practices.

His many duties sum up his favorite quote, ‘no one ever paid to see a man juggle one ball,’ which for him means firefighters never have just one job, they take on many tasks through the day. In this case, he also fills the current void as NAS Sigonella Operations department’s senior fire officer for responding to emergencies and mitigating incidents.

“Working in a fire department with civilians, local nationals, and military is challenging and rewarding,” said Balliet, “Especially the diversity and daily challenges to meet the vision, mission, and goals of installation and region guidance.”

Balliet was nominated and awarded the title of Senior Civilian of the First Quarter.

“Chief Michael Balliet is one of the most professional, knowledgeable, and dignified individual I’ve met and worked with over the past 40 years,” said William J. Casey Jr, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT) Region Fire Chief. “He possesses a mastery of all functional areas of fire protection. He continually inspires others with his work ethic and tremendous dedication to teamwork. He is willing to share his knowledge with all interested in learning new programs. His outstanding leadership and flawless delivery of emergency services has ensured mission success for NASSIG Fire and Emergency Services.”

“Chief Balliet single-handedly sets a new benchmark of excellence,” said NAS Sigonella Fire Chief Samuel R. Feltner. “Upon his arrival to present day, he’s simultaneously performed as health & safety officer and fire prevention chief, two positions vital to the organization and the installation’s ability to support the mission across the Mediterranean. Since his arrival he was appointed as a Government Purchase Card holder, installation training team leader, and commander’s inspection program team lead, all while balancing day-to-day operational voids. His ability knows no bounds, he is consistently recruited to assist external organizations with procurement methods.”

“I am very happy to know that my hard work is noticed,” said Balliet.

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