PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- A disestablishment ceremony was held Sept. 29 to formally commemorate the closure of Naval Station Pascagoula.
The special guest speakers included Capt. Matthew Schellhorn, chief of staff, Commander, Navy Region Southeast and the Mississippi Secretary of State Eric Clark.
More than 200 guests were aboard Naval Station Pascagoula to say farewell to a naval station that throughout the last 14 years has been the home to thousands of Sailors and some of the Navy's finest surface ships. Among the guests were former Naval Station Pascagoula commanding officers and executive officers, along with local officials.
Navy Band New Orleans provided the music and PCU Kidd (DDG 100) provided the color guard for the ceremony. Plaques were also given out representing the civilian and military workforce. Upon leaving Naval Station Pascagoula, all civilian and military members will receive a plaque.
As a final symbol of closure, all watches were secured and the flag was lowered for the final time.
"It is not a day of sadness, but a day of celebration for the new beginning for Singing River Island," said Cmdr. Robert P. Benjamin Jr., commanding officer, Naval Station Pascagoula.
In 1985, the U.S. Navy selected the site on the Singing River in Pascagoula as a strategic homeport location, and base construction began in 1988. The station became an operational homeport with a dedication ceremony July 4, 1992.
Throughout the station's 14 years of service, nine ships were homeported at Naval Station Pascagoula and more than 15 tenant commands have called the island home.
The base over the years has also provided support to the Navy community at large in a variety of ways through the Fleet and Family Support Center, the Housing Referral Office, and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department.
Naval Station Pascagoula truly accomplished the mission of Navy Region Southeast, enabling warfighter readiness by providing support to the fleet and to Sailors.
"I want you to know that each and every one of you has made a positive difference to our Navy with your service here at Naval Station Pascagoula," said Schellhorn. "Today is a very special and memorable day, special because we come together as a Navy and a community to celebrate a job well done, and memorable, because we say farewell to shipmates and friends."
Naval Station Pascagoula will officially close Nov. 15. At that time, the facility will transition to the State of Mississippi for economic redevelopment.
For more news from around the fleet, visit www.navy.mil.