WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Brian J. Brakke, Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) and NECC Pacific, was the presiding officer for the ceremony and he spoke on the history and tradition of the ceremony.
"Today's ceremony is part of our Navy tradition and heritage. This is where the authority, the responsibility, and the accountability will formally transfer from Rear Admiral Keith Jones to Rear Admiral Alan Reyes," said Brakke. "This ceremony also gives us the opportunity to recognize Rear Admiral Jones and the team he led."
Brakke spoke to an audience of more than 200 NAVELSG personnel, family, and friends about the accomplishments of NAVELSG and the forward deployed forces during Jones' tenure.
"Rear Admiral Jones led a team of 2,700 men and women who have the tremendous responsibility of providing the logistics support capability that enables the Navy to operate anytime, anywhere," said Brakke. "As former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps., General Robert H. Barrow noted 'amateurs talk about tactics but professionals study logistics...' and I don't see any amateurs from where I'm standing. We stand here today among a dedicated group of logistics professionals whose work is absolutely critical to our Navy's presence which enables the U.S. Navy to be the most lethal Navy in the world."
Brakke closed his remarks then called the military personnel present to attention and asked the guests to rise as he awarded the Legion of Merit Medal to Jones for his accomplishments while in command of NAVELSG. Brakke then turned the floor over to Jones.
"When I assumed command, I laid out some essential qualities and expectations for the Group, some personal Sea Lanes if you will," said Jones. "I called upon each of the men and women of 'Cargo Nation' to be professional in all that we do and the 2,700 Sailors of NAVELSG have not let me down. The professionalism in which you have displayed and achieved and developed the mission of NAVELSG is unmatched and approaching legendary status amongst the force."
"I challenged each of us to be ready at a moment's notice. Cargo Nation must be able to deploy and execute our mission around the world, at all times and in any environment," added Jones. "You have done that at the highest levels. Our efforts in providing combat service support capabilities to TASK FORCE FIVE SIX and other commands in direct support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and others have solidified the fact that we are up to the task."
Jones ended his remarks saying, "Admiral Reyes, I am turning over to you what I believe are the greatest group of Sailors in our Navy that I have had the pleasure of serving with. They are supremely trained, dedicated and professional. I'm confident they will continue to give their heart and soul to the expeditionary mission of Cargo Nation, and that they will continue to thrive under your leadership."
Jones and Reyes then read their orders before meeting in front of Brakke to ceremoniously execute the change of command. Reyes then addressed NAVELSG for the first time as its 12th commanding officer.
"With the uncertainty in today's world the expeditionary capabilities across our entire force are as critical today as they have ever been and I will work to ensure that NAVELSG continues to play a key part in our expeditionary fight," said Reyes. "I'm privileged and humbled to return home to 'Cargo Nation' as your commander to lead and to serve you and all our Sailors that you represent, our whole team."
NAVELSG is a vital enabler of Maritime Prepositioning, Joint Logistics Over The Shore operations, and maritime forces ashore providing expeditionary cargo handling services for surface, air, and terminal operations, tactical fueling, and ordnance handling/reporting in support of worldwide Naval, Joint, interagency, and combined forces/organization.
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