Defense Department News

Fleet Mail Center Sigonella Delivers Joy for the Holidays


It’s a chilly morning as far as Sicilian mornings go. Navy Lt. Joseph Green adjusts his cover and shades his eyes from the sun that dances across the postal truck’s exterior. “Back it up. Slowly … Slower … Good!”

Navy Lt. Joseph Green, director of the fleet mail center in Sigonella, Italy, and sailors assigned to the center hold a small sample of the mail that flows through on its way to deployed units operating in the Mediterranean and tenant commands at Naval Air Station Sigonella.
Navy Lt. Joseph Green, director of the fleet mail center in Sigonella, Italy, and sailors assigned to the center hold a small sample of the mail that flows through on its way to deployed units operating in the Mediterranean and tenant commands at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Dec. 15, 2017. Navy photo by Tia Nichole McMillen
Navy Lt. Joseph Green, director of the fleet mail center in Sigonella, Italy, and sailors assigned to the center hold a small sample of the mail that flows through on its way to deployed units operating in the Mediterranean and tenant commands at Naval Air Station Sigonella.
Fleet Mail Center Sigonella Delivers Joy for the Holidays
Navy Lt. Joseph Green, director of the fleet mail center in Sigonella, Italy, and sailors assigned to the center hold a small sample of the mail that flows through on its way to deployed units operating in the Mediterranean and tenant commands at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Dec. 15, 2017. Navy photo by Tia Nichole McMillen
Photo By: Tia McMillen
VIRIN: 171215-N-JQ378-768

And just like that, jolly blue and green camo-clad elves emerge from their workshops and begin unloading and scanning holiday packages as Fleet Mail Center Sigonella ramps up for its most wonderful time -- and most busy time -- of the year.

Green, lead elf and director of the fleet mail center said, “The holidays are the most important time of the year for the FMC. Not because our days are busier and longer, but because the impact of not delivering the mail has vast affects. Whether it’s receiving care packages from your parents, or a card from a friend, receiving mail exponentially increases morale -- and that’s what we do here. We deliver joy by ensuring that the sailors who may not be able to sit down and have sour cream latkes or a Christmas ham or Cajun catfish -- still receive a taste of home.”

Every deployed sailor appreciates the sheer pleasure of receiving mail, especially around the holidays.

Holiday Surge

The fleet mail center routinely services deployed units operating in the Mediterranean and tenant commands here. It supports mail storage and transportation for more than 20 ships throughout the year. An average month will see about 55,000 pounds of mail processed through the center, but during the holidays, the hardworking elves dispatch a skyrocketing 88,000 pounds of mail -- a 60 percent increase!

In order to support the holiday surge, planning begins nearly six months in advance. The base release messages on important mailing dates, the postal team determines holiday hours, and the operations team requests reservists to support during the holiday rush. Between Thanksgiving and before New Year’s, five Navy reservists supported the center from Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella’s Reserve unit, which is headquartered out of Navy Operational Support Center Fort Worth, Texas.

“There’s nothing quite like this job,” Green said. “I know that every day I come to work my team is making a difference for so many people, and nothing beats that feeling.”