ATHENS, Ga. (NNS) -- Navy Supply Corps personnel, veterans and local community members gathered Oct. 29 at the Navy Supply Corps School's (NSCS) Royar Square in Athens, Ga., to observe the closing ceremony for the school, which has been a part of the local community since its commissioning in 1954.
The day's events began with the graduation of the final NSCS basic qualification course students in Athens.
Retired Rear Adm. Ted Walker, who was a graduate of the first battalion at Athens in 1954, spoke to the 82 graduates and encouraged them to use the Supply Corps network to help them in their upcoming tours.
"The Sailors of today and tomorrow are counting on each and every one of us to maintain the standard of excellence that has been set for us and sealed in history. My class does not take this honor lightly," said Ensign Michael Zamudio, the final graduate of NSCS in Athens.
After the graduates were formally recognized, the memorable program continued with the closing ceremony.
"Our new school will soon start up in Newport, Rhode Island, and it is now our duty to bring the Athens spirit north and continue the Supply Corps legacy established during our 57 years in the classic city," said Capt. James Davis, NSCS commanding officer.
"The audience today is unique," said retired Vice Adm. Justin McCarthy. "I know of no other relationship that replicates what we have enjoyed here in Athens. The impact of that relationship over the 57 years during which Athens has been 'the cradle of our corps' has been immeasurable. Including those that depart for their initial assignments today, 22,455 graduates have benefitted from the unique institution that is the Navy Supply Corps School, Athens, Ga."
"I am optimistic as I look toward the future and have no doubt that our new home, NSCS Newport, will continue to provide top-notch training and ensure that future Supply officers are ready for sea. While we look forward to building a strong community relationship and involvement in Newport, we will never forget our friends in Athens," added Rear Adm. Mike Lyden, commander, Naval Supply Systems Command and 45th chief of Supply Corps.
The Navy is scheduled to transfer the NSCS property to the U.S. Department of Education, which will deed the property to the University of Georgia (UGA) in March 2011. UGA plans to convert it to the UGA Health Sciences Campus, which will house the Medical College of Georgia-UGA Medical Partnership, the UGA College of Public Health and potentially other academic units.
Navy and UGA officials held a transfer ceremony the week of Oct. 18.
The more than 3,500 active duty and Reserve officers of the Navy Supply Corps are responsible for supply and logistics support for the ships of the active Fleet and hundreds of naval shore installations worldwide, providing combat capability through logistics.
For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsup/.